It's been ages since I've done this!
Anticipating... Sunday night and the OSCARS! But first, tomorrow is Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival: The Favourite, Vice, Black Panther, and Bohemian Rhapsody, along with the Animated Shorts.
Celebrating... the approaching end of February -- less than a week to go!
Excited about... March! I am so ready.
Itching to... put some catch-up book work behind me, and I'm getting close!
Looking forward to... VACATION!!
Three weeks from today we'll be exploring Costa de Morte along the Galician coast in Spain -- the "Atlantic Northwest."
I have my International Driving Permit, our Airbnb is booked, and I am ready!!
Needing... to get some footwear suitable for traipsing around the "Atlantic Northwest." I'm really in need of some waterproof/hiking shoes. We're going to be traveling very light, and footwear is always the most challenging part of that situation.
Sewing... Nothing, really, at the moment -- at least not actively. I have dreams, though. I might bring a small Alabama Chanin project on vacation for Annie & me, and possibly for a friend of hers.
Watching... Soundbreaking. I happened upon E4 by chance once night on PBS as I was actually turning off the TV but was immediately hooked and stayed up to watch it all!
"Music has been a constant in human history, an intermingling of voice and instrument that for all its local variation and increasing sophistication nevertheless endured in more or less the same form for centuries. Then came recording––and music was forever transformed. Soundbreaking, an eight-part event television series, traces this ongoing sonic revolution, and explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives."
Wondering... What's up in your world?
Wishing... you a Happy Weekend!!
Well, after we take one last 31-second (or so) look at July, here's what's happening in August...
Anticipating... another weekend with Maddy in the house! She's returned after two weeks incommunicado while paddling & camping in the Apostle Islands, and will be home this evening in time for supper.
Celebrating... Addison's 11th birthday next week! Can you believe it??
Excited about... pre-ordering Katrina Rodabaugh's Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More. I've been following Katrina on IG for quite a while and have no doubt that this is going to be some book!
Inspired by... I'm not super into online groups or forums, but I was invited a while ago to a group on FB called "The School of Making Stitchalong," started/moderated by employees of Alabama Chanin/The School of Making, and it's a pretty lively group of talented & creative people!
Itching... to rearrange my workroom. Despite what I just wrote about online groups, I've also been following "Sewing Room Ideas" and, while some many of those people are way more hard-core than me (gigantic rooms, thousands of dollars in machines of various types, enough fabric/thread to start a shop), there are lots of practical tips for storage, organizing, and maximizing space. (I don't know what these people did before IKEA!) There are also enough real posts to make me feel right at home & not alone. Heh.
Knitting... I have continued to suffer from tendonitis, though feel that it's truly, slowly, improving overall -- finally! I've begun doing some specific exercises (thanks to Kim asking the question on FB and also some helpful YouTube videos) and they are helping. I've also been paying much more attention to my posture & position while knitting and, thankfully, the pace of Kirsten's 2018 TTL Mystery Shawl has been very relaxed with the clues released over a period of six weeks. Anyway, all that to say that I am knitting and have kept up, for the most part, so the finish is... still a little ways off but in sight!
Looking forward to... going to a baseball game with Junah next week!
Needing... to pack up the stuff I'd moved out to the garage and get it ready for Auntie Camp!
Reading/Pages... The Best Cook in the World: Tales From my Momma's Table by Rick Bragg. I just read about how to make hog jowls and collard greens. Yep.
Reading/Audio... Calypso by David Sedaris.
Sewing... I plan to sew those in-seam pockets in my FAME dress over the weekend. And possibly start another dress! The sew/vac repair shop across the street from Ali's coffee shop has another location where they sell fabric & machines -- Baby Lock is the brand they carry -- and I stopped by on Tuesday night to take a look. There are one or two contenders from the four or five in my price range. Holy cow.
Watching... did you catch the premiere of Making It hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman?? I enjoyed it, am glad I don't have to judge, and didn't expect to cry.
Wondering... What's up in your world?
In other words, what's happening this spring/summer! What began as a normal "what's happening right now" post became a fairly detailed and very helpful list of What I Know Right Now. Also, a couple of hopes & dreams... things I'd like to accomplish.
Macro May... and Macramé! I think "macramé" almost every time I say "Macro May," but now I'm actually developing a plan to do some! I've always loved making those knots and now it's cool again -- inspiring, even. I have an idea to make window coverings for our bedroom.
My first bicycle event of the season is this Sunday -- a 20-mile ride to benefit a local charter school. I am doing it alone. I'd rather not do it alone, but it's that or not at all... and I really have to JUST DO IT!
We're picking up Maddy in a week (squee!), and spending a day or so in/around Chicago before heading back...
And then it's Mothers Day!
Maddy takes off for her summer camp job just about two weeks later. Thankfully, the camp job is way closer than her vineyard job (haha), and I'm hopeful for a couple of summertime visits.
On the very last day of May, I'm heading to NYC again!
There are also a couple of "unclaimed" 3-day weekends in May due to work schedule/holiday, and overall I plan to:
- Finish Malina's quilt (I'm putting my head down and aiming for a finish this weekend)
- Start indigo plants (also must be done this weekend)
- Prep for rummage sale
- Sew something(s) -- a dress and/or top for the girls and/or me
- Dye something(s)!
Kate has curated a show, CONVEYOR, for Greenpoint Open Studios and I'll be joining her there for a few days. She will be busy much of the time with set up, so I'll be on my own for a bit. I plan to meet up with a friend or two, and maybe even take in a show.
Shortly after that, and after Kate returns from NYC (she's driving), I head to Chicago again to deliver her to the airport to see her off as she departs for a month in the UK.
Another possible bicycle event - to benefit a local fire department!
The local farmers market starts up again and Ali will man the Coffee Camper; I imagine I'll have a few Saturday mornings with Gin & Jün.
There is an entire week in the middle of the month when I'll be working every day (I usually work four long days and LOVE my mid-week day off).
CSA deliveries begin mid-month and I'm really looking forward to that!
I am planning to get to work finishing the mosaic tables that Rusty & I built a year ago (detail of dilapidated & rotting original shown above).
And also continue prep for the rummage sale.
I will be going to Chicago for my monthly visit to pick up Kate at the airport.
There's a rummage sale in the works!
And Kate's maybe gonna re-paint my kitchen walls sometime in July. Before she moves to Denver!
Ann & family arrive from Spain for their summer visit (July 14-August 21), and that means Auntie Camp on the horizon! We're just beginning to sync calendars & make plans, so I don't know exactly when -- it's actually more like to happen in August. That means INDIGO. Maybe tie dye again? Weaving? I'd like to involve Junah, and maybe the kids of one of my coworkers (they've all met before).
And also a possible bicycle ride.
Shhhhhh. At this point, August is a pretty clean slate, other than probably Auntie Camp, Addy's birthday, and his family's return to Spain shortly thereafter. This will very likely fill in a bit -- and may include another trip to (where else?) Chicago!! Annie has hinted at it... because, you know, it will have been a whole month since I was there!
September is looking quite free & open! There is another possible bicycling event and I might tie that into a long weekend away with Rusty.
Just like last summer, this one will certainly have distractions and last-minute changes/additions. I'm hoping to find a better rhythm this year and not veer too far off (of my very loose) course.
Celebrating... MARCH! February, like January, flew right by (not usually the case with February)! That fun little interlude with my sis in Nashville in the middle of the month certainly helped.
Enjoying... noticeably longer days! Spring is still a ways off, but we're also enjoying some warm-ish days here & there.
Itching... for garden fresh veggies! I just signed up for a CSA share for the first time in a few years, and planting started last weekend!! This farm is new to me, though I did attend a dinner there a few years ago. It's the extras/options that swayed me... we're able to say NO, from the get-go, if there are things we really don't want to find in our box. Ever. We'll have the ability to swap things out and/or add items, based on availability. And there's a mushroom option! We'll get a 'shroom share every other week.
Knitting... I'm still working on my Parallelogram Scarf! It's slow going, but it's going! It's Knit Night tonight, so progress will be made...
Swatching... I swatched for the Lunar Phase MKAL, swapping the original blue-green for a lighter one that gives a little more contrast.
I think "orange" will still be the pop color, but tested a dark red and pale gray, too. There are a bunch more photos on my project page.
Needing... to buckle down and Do.The.Taxes. I finished & filed Maddy's the other day, had a meeting with Ali's tax prep person last night & have a "homework" list, and need to keep the ball rolling so I'm not complaining about this for too long!
Speaking of Maddy, she messaged me yesterday to say that she "got the Oregon winery job!!" When she returns from NZ, she'll be working the summer at camp and, hopefully, supplementing with a bit of waitressing, then heading out west! What's that about a rolling stone...?
Planning... Easter dinner already! Well, just beginning to think about that (realizing that it'll have to be made)... mostly, I'm figuring out logistics for the watching/recording/re-watching of Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert! I cannot WAIT!
Reading... (pages) Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Listening... to Sing, Unburied, Sing.
Sewing... not quite #dailystitching, but stitching nonetheless! Crafting time is pretty limited on any given day, and tends to be knitting or sewing; rarely both, though it sometimes happens.
I can't even imagine how much little crafting time I'd have if I actually did housework...
Watching... Day 2 of the Best Picture Festival is on Saturday!! On deck:
I've already seen Billboards and loved it, especially Frances McDormand (always a fan) and Sam Rockwell, and it's the first time I actually liked Woody Harrelson in a movie. I'm looking forward to Darkest Hour and re-watching Dunkirk right after; historical context and all that. I've been iffy about The Shape of Water, but I've heard that it's pretty good. :)
Admiring... Kate's brand new, just launched today, redesigned and gorgeous yngspc.com website!! She worked with Vickie Vainionpaa @ Brave New Creative in Montreal on everything from logo & rebranding to web design & development -- quite the process !
Wondering... what's up in your world this March 1st??
Anticipating... a super-quick weekend getaway with Rusty to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary on the 20th! I wanted someplace warm but it couldn't be far, so we are going to a nearby spa resort hotel type of place (there's a first time for everything)... with fireplaces! And we'll each get a good, long, relaxing massage. I can feel myself loosen up a bit just thinking about it...
Cooking/Eating... Kym posted this morning about The Cooking Light 3-Day Detox that she & Tom just completed. My comment: While I am continuing with Weight Watchers (and it is amazing how frequently my "diet/healthy" recipes get RAVES), I fell HARD off the WW wagon over the past couple of months and have struggled to get back on. Travel, holidays, birthdays, people & their crazy schedules, and WW rolling out a few changes to their program... it's been tough to pull it together and FOCUS. So I'm going to focus on doing this!
Excited about... Spending a few hours with Gin tomorrow! That hasn't happened very often, but Ali & Rod want to take Jün out for his birthday... so YAY!
Looking forward to... Dyeing... Knitting... I am ITCHING to get some work done downstairs! I am off tomorrow and will be prepping some yarn this evening. I will be dyeing some yarn, using a new/different (to me) process, for the MDK Parallelogram Scarf KAL that I'm doing with Mary! We're starting on January 20th and would love some company, if you're so inclined. I've had my eye on this pattern since I first laid eyes on Field Guide No. 5 | Sequences!
Organizing... Also, over the 3-day weekend, I'll be getting Christmas put away!! I wish I had it in me to REALLY organize and purge...
Reading... I'll soon finish Tender At The Bone and intended to begin Prairie Fires next, but I think a long overdue re-read of Little House In The Big Woods will happen first. Since all of the Christmas stuff is out of the way, I was able to reach all the books at the back of the closet and fish it out.
Watching... Have you seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel?? We started watching a few weeks ago. I found that it's a little slow to build, and I almost lost Rusty early on, but we both stuck with it and finally finished the other night. It's funny, the clothes are INCREDIBLE, casting... Tony Shaloub, and winner of a couple of Golden Globe awards!
- I love Tony Shaloub and he is from Wisconsin.
- I didn't know that Rachel Brosnahan was also from Wisconsin, born in the same city as me, in fact... AND we went to the same grade school in Highland Park, IL (she for many grades, me for only first grade)... I mean we're practically related. Haha.
Word... I don't usually "choose a word" for the year. I tried that once. I even created a blog category for all the posts I was going to write about it... and there is ONE POST ABOUT IT. But there is a word that keeps popping up lately, multiple times a day, and that word is SLOW. As in "slow down," "slow down and focus," "you could do that if you slowed down," "you'd have to slow down..." So if I were to be choosing a word, that would probably be it.
Wondering... What's up with you right now??
Anticipating... a fun, long(er)(than last time) weekend in St. Louis with Kate! As you read this, we are on our way... returning some artwork, taking in an opening or two, and finding some good food, drinks & music. St. Louis will be all decked out for the holidays, and that ought to be fun, too!
Cooking/Eating... Is it too late to write about Thanksgiving? We had a really nice day. Maddy & Kate arrived around noon, and Ali with the kids shortly after. We all busied ourselves with various things & playing & cooking; then Rusty, Kate & Maddy decided to take the kids for a walk/to the park so that Ali could take a little nap! (There's been so much going on in her life!) Ali & kids joined Rod's family for dinner in the early evening, so there were only four around our table.
The menu was just right:
- Spatchcocked Turkey
- Green Bean Casserole w/Crispy Shallots (from scratch)
- Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Make-Ahead Gravy
- Cranberry Sauce
- Pumpkin Pie w/freshly Whipped Cream
The green beans could have been just a bit more tender and the sauce a wee thicker, but otherwise that casserole was delicious (and the reheated leftovers were perfect). The Make-Ahead Gravy was fantastic, but it sure makes a lot! The cranberry sauce was the best I've had (inadvertently simmering for about twice the called-for time may be one reason why). Also, Rusty added a bit of coconut oil to the pie crust (because he thought he was out of Crisco), and was it ever good -- the texture was nice & crisp. I'm not sure what his ratio was, but I hope he remembers...
I made Turkey Soup on Sunday -- and loved the Make-Ahead Gravy method for making stock so much that I did it again for the soup. I think it was the best, most flavorful pot of turkey soup I've ever made. Delicious!!
Also, I'd finally reached my −20 lb. goal at Weight Watchers the Monday before Thanksgiving -- which has been so slow in coming that I'd actually set Jan. 1st (one year) as my deadline; and I made it through the holiday weekend with neither loss nor gain, and that is most certainly a WIN! Now to keep that momentum going...
Excited about... Maddy's return to New Zealand! She's been hired full-time for the vintage, and will be there from January to May.
Listening... Leslie Odom Jr. / Simply Christmas - Deluxe Edition! It was my favorite last year, and I think it will be this year, too.
Organizing... All the Make.Do stuff from the shop!!
Planning... Christmas. We're thinking Cornish hens for dinner, and...
Sewing... Barely a stitch since returning from Alabama!!
Watching... Godless on Netflix. Actually, we've finished... but I think I might watch it again!
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Acknowledging... On Monday, I had reason to count ahead some weeks on the calendar and realized that it's only SIX WEEKS until my birthday, HAMILTON in Chicago, and a trip to ALABAMA & TENNESSEE. But that's November and this is still September! (But, only six weeks!)
Anticipating... An early October quick get-away with Rusty to the U.P. (That's the Upper Peninsula... as in Michigan, for those not from 'round here.) We're staying at a little lake resort cabin in a place completely new to us, and plan to hit the Lake Superior shoreline and also do a little hiking. I've had reports that the fall color should be pretty great!
Avoiding... some bookwork that I really need to buckle down and do.
Drinking... PAMA + gin + lime juice + club soda. Tart & refreshing.
Eating... Pretty well. I wasn't good at meal planning over the summer, and am committed to doing it more. The two classes that Kate teaches at UWGB are in the early evening and, especially with the increasing darkness and because Winter Is Coming, she will likely stay at our house those evenings (saving about 20 commuting miles each day). I/we have recommitted to planning for at least those days! Last night it was WW Italian Spinach & Tortellini Soup (yay SOUP!) -- a double batch for the whole family (plus leftovers for lunch) -- over for the football game.
Happy... to learn yesterday that Natalie Chanin is working on a new Craftsy class! The previous one is not offered anymore because the accompanying Donna Karan pattern has been discontinued. I imagine the new class might include an actual Alabama Chanin pattern, or something over which they have more control.
Listening... Echoes of Vietnam on Spotify. (See Watching...) Also, related playlists.
Spotify also sent Your Time Capsule this morning -- the most memorable tracks from your teenage years. So far, they've NAILED IT.
Needing to... Get my yarn under control. (See also Organizing...)
Organizing... My workroom. Still. Always. With a few projects finished and on their way to great destinations, I got right to it the other day, making a GIGANTIC mess! It's one of those tasks where it's going to get worse before it gets better. I made some progress and I'm excited to continue.
Reading/Audio... Nothing yet! I haven't had a chance to really concentrate on finding an audio book... don't know what I'm in the mood for right now, I guess. It's the first time I haven't had book in my ears since I signed up with Audible a year and a half ago!
Reading/Pages... Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen.
Reading/Screen... Hillbilly Elegy (still) (well, sort of... I really haven't looked at it in a while).
Sewing... I finished stitching the Alabama Chanin "Wisconsin fish," sent it back to its owner, and boy I sure hope she likes it! (As in, I hope I didn't go over the top!) There are still a couple of tops underway. And last night, I sewed the buttons on Maddy's Oblique cardigan!
Surprised by... Maddy's return from the Boundary Waters after one week instead of three. She sent me a text on Wednesday stating that "we quit the wilderness - so many storms and cold winds!" "Awesome trip though." I love that they didn't force it. She has a lot of leftover SPAM. Haha.
Direct from his "Vietnam and Other Tales" scrapbook, my then 22-year-old husband in Vietnam. First a company clerk, he later directed an arts and crafts program where soldiers could enjoy making models, jewelry and other art, instead of (or in addition to), ahem, other types of R&R popular at the time.
Watching... The Vietnam War. I've been recording it and, so far, we've watched only E1. I've already learned some things.
Wearing... A sweater. It's Sweater Weather!
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Anticipating... Rusty's return! He's been in California for most of the summer -- art stuff, a residency, visiting family & friends, projects. I'm looking forward to having him back in residence here!
Celebrating... A nice stretch of warm & mostly dry weather ahead! It has been an awfully rainy (and humid) summer so far, so this is quite welcome.
Charmed by... this photo that Ann sent me last week with the caption: Casting off! Wedding dishcloth!!
Enjoying... The county fair! It opened on Tuesday, and Maddy & I went last night. I haven't been to that particular fair in many, many years... possibly since I was in junior high! I worked for my aunt during the summer between 7th & 8th grades. She was blowing glass back then and, in addition to sales, I painted/decorated the pieces that needed that sort of thing! We did the circuit all over WI & MN that summer... so much fun!
Anyway, we didn't go on a single ride, but we did tour every barn! The judge in the photo above -- middle right, wearing jeans & plaid shirt, talking to young man with a sheep -- was talking with that young man the entire time that we watched. He was so patient and you could tell that he was genuinely interested in sheep, but even more in demonstrating & explaining to every person there how to show their sheep in the best possible way.
I know the knitter of those 1st Place socks! I loved the whimsy of the little embroidery sampler pillow.
Some of it was pretty impressive! (FYI: You Can Do It Afghan is a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarns.)
I'm thinking that it might not be my last county fair of the year... there are three more within a :20-30 minute drive happening in the next month or so!
Knitting... Forest Mystery continues to grow!!
Looking forward to... A relatively uneventful weekend and a chance to get things cleaned up at home! Auntie Camp stuff sits atop a big pile o' other stuff that needs to be put away.
Planning... A trip!
Reading... The same stuff I've been reading.
Remembering... Hang time with the dude at Wednesday night's concert in the park. We spent a good part of that afternoon together, too.
Sewing... My craft/free time has been devoted to knitting the shawl, but there are some sewing projects on my mind and underway (in the pile)!
Watching... Game of Thrones... I've been knitting to it... currently on Season 5.
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Are we really at the mid-way point of the year?? It's hard to believe... though June went Whoosh!!
We ended June and began July with a pre-4th of July trip up to the Flowage and a few days at my uncle's cabin. The forecast wasn't spectacular, but it was good enough (better than expected), so there was plenty of walking, bicycling, canoeing, Skip-Bo and Bananagramming, building with Legos, and just hanging out on the dock. We returned on Sunday, and enjoyed Monday off of work in addition to the holiday. Not a bad deal.
Jun's first set of "little" LEGOs -- appropriately themed!
Other than Auntie Camp (commencing on Wednesday!) and a wedding in Madison later this month, it's a "normal" month... for a change. There's actually nothing huge on the calendar for the rest of the summer... another wedding coming up in September, a possible few days in Door County in October, and then some fun stuff around my birthday in November.
But here & now... what's happening RIGHT NOW??
Anticipating... A fun few days with Mack & Addy and our 3rd Annual Auntie Camp. This year, we plan to do some tie-dyeing with fiber reactive dyes in addition to indigo (because it ain't Auntie Camp until someone turns blue). The boys also want to do a little knitting, and make some bookmarks. I'm going to try to involve Junah in some of the dyeing -- even if he just wants to watch! New this year is a likely paddle/camp excursion with Cousin Maddy (pray that the weather cooperates).
Eating... Zoodles! I love them so much that I bought a Spiralizer, which will pay for itself in no time given the cost of spiralized zucchini at the store (and not as expensive as I remember)! I love how quickly they can be made, and how delicious! My favorite right now is a stripped-down WW recipe: Sautee the zoodles for a few minutes, add some fire-roasted diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and a little smoked garlic, stir some more, serve with a dollop of whipped cream cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh basil. So good!
Also, I finally made my first batch of Greek yogurt in the Instant Pot! I'll be making more of that (Gin loves it), but probably in smaller batches; I didn't need to use a whole gallon of milk! In addition to perfect-every-time hard-boiled eggs in the IP, I've been working out the timing for a steamed artichoke!
Happy... to have Maddy home! She's been in & out a lot -- visiting, catching up -- but she's HOME! (For a while...)
Knitting... Currently, a stealth project with a deadline. Two colors, stripes, I can't say much more than that... I'll share when I am able!
Looking forward to... Getting some things done at home!
Reading... The Shadow of the Wind (audio) and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer (pages); soon: Hillbilly Elegy. I don't know whether I'll get a BINGO this year. You'd think with all the planes, trains & automobiles that I've been in lately that I'd have made some progress... but no. I've realized that I make more progress on knitting & reading while traveling... ALONE!!
Sewing... An Alabama Chanin Factory Dress -- single layer, using a printed fabric. Fingers crossed!
Watching... American Gods. I finished it, actually, but have the urge to watch it again. It was... verrrry interesting. I never read the book, nor (shall I admit it?) any of Neil Gaiman's books. I didn't think I was "into that," but maybe I am? Things change! Also, Maddy and I just started The Handmaid's Tale!
Wondering... What's up with you?
Avoiding... Income taxes. In doing so, I have been incredibly productive in other areas!
Kate & Jun checking out the creek in Kate's new back yard!
Saturday's tactics included helping Katie move, doing Ali's payroll, and sewing a dress for Gin.
Gin: In Threes - helping Kate move in!
On Sunday, I made runs to Target & the grocery store, had lunch with Kate, balanced a few bank accounts, and even took all of the printer toner cartridges (that have been piling up for years) to Office Max.
And I made dinner and we Skyped with Maddy.
And I sorted through a stack of tax-related papers.
It's been a pretty amazing weekend!! Perhaps we should need to file our tax returns every month! Heh.
Celebrating... April Birthdays!!! Though Alison is second-born, her birthday comes first on the calendar and this year it is also Easter. We're going to join Rod's family at a local restaurant for Easter lunch and birthday celebration, and I'm okay with not cooking/hosting this year. I will be baking an awesome cake, and have enlisted Kate's help in decorating.
And next I'll have to figure out what to do for her birthday...
And then for Maddy's, which is a little tougher since she's so far away.
Drinking... Coffee, water, iced SporTea, hot Tazo ZEN tea, Gin+Campari+OJ+Club Soda.
Salad in a jar for lunch! I've been meaning to do this for a long time...
Eating... Pretty well, for the most part. Planning is everything!!
Itching... for some nice weather. I'm not asking for much (being April), but four days in a row of 50s-into-60s and sunshine would do wonders. Alas, April, you're known more for showers and, from what I can see, that's what it's mostly going to be about this month.
Sewing... As mentioned above, while avoiding working on taxes, I made another Geranium Dress for Gin.
I wasn't really even thinking about making another dress for her, but was moving some stuff around and uncovered an old pillowcase from Mom's.
It was a reflex, thinking, "Hm. Could I make a dress from this?" And then I did. The ruffled edge of the pillowcase made a PERFECT ruffled hem -- and saved quite a bit of time.
I've sewn three dresses for Gin and they've all been from the same pattern! I am still all about that sleeve cap. My "stitching in the ditch" could be improved.
Listening... to Exit West by Mohsin Hamid... and am enthralled every minute.
Planning... Not much, except for some vague home improvement/cleaning projects. It's only April and I already have plans for every single one of my vacation days this year plus one! Florida & New Orleans have eaten a few; Spain for sure; Auntie Camp, and a trip to TN/AL add up! Not complaining, it's a stellar year for experiences.
Watching... Rusty and I just watched Finding Vivian Maier, which had been on my subliminal list for quite a long time and he brought home from the library last week.
Wondering... How this little fashionista is 11 months old already!!
Anticipating... Two weeks One week (time flies!) 'til the First Day of Spring!! I'm doubtful that it'll actually feel like spring, but we march on.
Celebrating... Major progress on a big catch-up job! I "celebrated" yesterday by clearing the Christmas detritus, among other things, off my worktable. There's more to do in both of these areas. Moving forward.
Eating... We're still cooking at home. I can't remember the last time we went out! I've found some really good recipes on the Weight Watchers site (and am also right around -10 lbs right now).
Hoping... that the tax thing isn't too brutal this year. With the political shit storm happening right now, the task is even more distasteful than usual. What am I paying for...?
Knitting... Helical stripes! I'm on mitt #2. There's also a gnome on the needles, two polar bears with one eye between them (finally getting ready to embroider some eyes). Truth be told, there's an overwhelming jumble (okay, teetering pile) of knitting on my table that's needs attention -- at least two half-finished hats, the remains of several finished projects, and I just don't even know...
Looking forward to... Spain. I'm so happy that we'll be there to help celebrate Mack's 12th birthday!! Las Fallas is gearing up in Valencia now and Ann has been posting the most amazing pictures of light displays and things happening in the city! One of these years, it would be fun to visit during that time. It's so incredibly beautiful... and it all goes up in smoke!
Planning... Guest room renovation... and whole-house shaping up/clearing out! Watch for it this summer.
Sewing... Well, my first attempt at an Alabama Chanin-style dress for Gin was a bust, but I'm ready to try again! Kym was kind enough to share a couple of inspiring Pins with me and now I'm jazzed again. Gin's 1st birthday is coming up in May, and I think I'll shoot for that.
Watching... Marcella. Intense!
Remembering... Just last week, when I arrived for work at 7 a.m. and it was light in the sky! Thankfully, it will soon come again. (Not a fan of DST.)
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Last night we drove Maddy's Jeep out to the farm for storage -- 'til she returns!
Anticipating... Only three more weeks until Winter Solstice!
Celebrating... A Christmas party already on Friday!
Drinking... Hot tea -- gigantic mugs of Tazo ZEN. And cold tea, G&Ts, IPAs, H2O.
Eating... Well. We've been doing so much cooking at home, and the fridge is usually bulging.
Enjoying... Junah's exploding language and imaginative play. Gin's bright eyes and ever-ready smile.
Hoping... to get Christmas going again. I was getting in the mood but lost it at the thought of hauling the tree up and the decorations down. I have started to do a little bit of shopping.
Knitting... I have two pairs of Squad Mitts going, two gift knits for the grandkids going (awaiting delivery of special-order safety eyes), and two more rows of ribbing before binding off my Rainbow Warrior Cowl!
Listening to... Simply Christmas by Leslie Odom, Jr., especially loving "My Favorite Things" and "Winter Song."
Looking forward to... Ann & family arriving the day after Christmas!
Needing... to make room for the tree.
Planning... well, not exactly planning yet... but beginning to think about Christmas dinner!
Watching... Vikings (Season 1).
It was a beautiful evening for a drive into the country - this was the apropos scene on Golden Glow Road.
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
_ _ _ _ _
And another NaBloPoMo is in the books. This one has been a bit of a struggle... since about November 9th. Thanks for reading along, sharing comments and suggestions -- you've made all the difference.
That's a lot of leaves!!
Acknowledging... That my birthday, which falls just two days before Election Day, is going to require some serious attention and damn good mojo.
Anticipating... Election Day! While I doubt the madness will end, it'll at least be... the end of something. I can't complain about the ads because I don't watch live TV, and I use NoMoRobo to curb the unwanted calls and soliticitations, but FB is full of it (and I admit to getting caught up a bit... sometimes...). Mostly, hopefully, GOD PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, I am anticipating not having to even think about the possibility of Donald Trump as our president. I do not understand it one single iota -- never did, never will -- the man is as unfit for office as he is disgusting.
And that's a lot. /sorrynotsorry /iamfinishednow
Delighted by... Junah playing with an old Fisher-Price Family Farm that my mom had. It's been in my trunk for months... but Jun came grocery shopping with me yesterday and he spotted it when we loaded up the groceries! We brought it in the house and he played with it for quite a while -- first on the kitchen floor, then in the living room. Then we played "jump" -- where I sit in my chair and he stands on my footstool -- bounce & JUMP! Then we played with "circles" -- an old Discovery Toys game -- and then he was goofing around and bonked his head and wanted to go home... or to the farm. ?? His other grandparents live on a farm and I thought he was telling me that he wanted to go home or to the farm... which is fine, because they're amazingly great and wonderful people (love you, Bob & Kathy... but REALLY, Junah??). Heheh, he wanted to take the farm home with him! And so we did. ;)
Knitting... Squad Mitts and some stealth Christmas presents for the kiddos. I would likely have a pair of mitts finished had I not gone full-on AUTO and knit well beyond where I was supposed to begin the thumb gusset on mitt #2... so a little rip & re-knit was in order. Back on track and for sure tonight! It is definitely getting to be mitt season, and I like that these are in fingering-weight yarn.
Looking forward to... WINTER! For the simple reason that it marks the end of road construction around here. OhMyGOD, it has been something else this year.
Planning... NaBloPoMo! Call me crazy, but I can't NOT do it after all these years.
Reading... PAGES: Room... making progress. AUDIO: The Time Traveler's Wife -- that's a long book -- I'm about half-way. I've been enjoying it, for the most part, but they just got married and I've rolled my eyes a time or two... I should stick with it, right?
Sewing... Hopefully soon. I've had some fabric for a while now to make new window treatments in the bathroom.
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Admiring... A freshly painted/touched-up garage! The back door is nice & bright again!
The gable isn't supposed to be purple, but the maroon fades in the sun. Apparently, red is a difficult color to make both lightfast and environmentally safe.
I'm going to have to find a spot for that sink before long.
Anticipating... Rhinebeck! I'll be winging my way east in a week to hang out & knit in the Hudson Valley. I'm so looking forward to seeing, visiting with, and hugging some friends. It's been a long time.
Delighted by (still)... my favorite (so far) artwork by Addison, done when he was in 2nd grade. He's now in 4th and I just had to have my own print of this... 11 x 14 arrived in the mail yesterday!
Dreading... some book work that I've let slide. I've concentrated instead on people, events, the moment, enjoying the weather... knowing full well that I'll have to bury my head in the books at some point. Better to do that when it's not so nice outside, though, non? We all know what's coming...
All the colors of the rainbow! And more!!
Knitting... I've finished a pair of undocumented mittens for Jun, a sweater & hat for Gin, worked a bit on LOLA (until I lost a cone of yarn) (yet not found)... and have begun a shawl called Close To You (free pattern on Ravelry) using some freshly dyed yarn.
(I've been dyeing!)
Kvetching... LOLA was to be my "Rhinebeck Sweater." It looks like that's not going to happen, but... I have a pretty solid back-up plan!
Looking forward to... a clear calendar! After Rhinebeck, there is almost nothing but a hair appointment on my calendar for months. Pinch me! I can't even believe it. (Knocking on wood!)
Planning... a big trip that's a long ways off. I've never planned a trip so far in advance... it's so early that I can't even buy a plane ticket yet!
Reading... PAGES: I've finished Across Five Aprils, and have picked up Room... which I've sort of dreaded, but so far so good. AUDIO: I've just finished listening to Code Name Verity and liked it a lot -- I'm glad I listened to it. (I've been reading a lot of wartime books!) I'm not 100% sold on The Time Traveler's Wife for my SciFi square, but whatever I decide, it's going to be audio!
Sewing... I've been working a bit, here and there, on my "Magdalena" Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic. I may do a little bit of machine sewing over the weekend, if things come together.
Watching... Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis. We recently caught the last season on PBS, so have been catching up on some that we'd missed.
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Anticipating... one more overseas departure. Maddy will be heading to New Zealand next month for a 9-month live/work adventure... emphasis on living, playing, and doing! I am so excited for her.
Itching... (still) to clean up my workroom and make progress on something... anything!
Knitting... I finished re-knitting the sleeves of Gin's Elwood sweater and they are so much better! Attention will now turn to LOLA.
Kvetching... about car/engine repairs. Bleh.
Looking forward to... Deconstructed Collage Workshop on Saturday morning. Artist Mel Kolstad will be just finishing a week-long residency at Standard Projects -- it's been fun to follow along. She is refreshed, renewed, inspired, and it ought to be a fun workshop.
Planning... a bit of travel myself. Not yet to Spain, nor to New Zealand (sadly, I doubt I'll make it to NZ at all due to time and expense... mostly time). It'll be a bit closer to home -- familiar, comfortable, restorative. More later.
Reading... I'm still reading (closing in on) All The Light We Cannot See.
I haven't had a chance yet to choose a new Audible book. I must make time for that this afternoon.
Sewing (mending)... I finally did a little Sashiko stitching! I'd recently re-over-dyed a couple pairs of Rusty's faded shorts to a much darker indigo and discovered a couple of small holes -- it seemed like a nice sized repair to begin with. It was cool to unfold the hank of thread, cut it, braid it, and draw out my working thread. My patching & stitching could have been better; because it's so small, I might call a re-do!
Watching... We recorded and watched some of the Olympics. It was fun for me to see a few familiar glimpses of Rio -- Copacabana, Ipanema, Dois Irmaos, Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Selaron Steps -- including a little ad-segment about Cafeina! I deleted plenty of unwatched episodes on Monday, though... I'm just never gonna watch those now that it's over.
We've currently queued up STRANGER THINGS and it's as amazing as all those friends' posts on FB have recently led me to believe!
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Anticipating... our first Farmers Market of the season tomorrow morning! It started a few weeks ago, but we've all been on leave.
Baby Barista will likely be in tow!
Celebrating... 4th of July weekend! Well, it'll be a very low-key celebration 'round here. But YAY! The work schedule has shifted a bit, so I'll have another 4-day weekend, too.
Drinking... Iced SPORTea, coffee, water, and G&T -- St. George Terroir in the mix at the moment.
Enjoying... Summer. It's been pretty nice so far, and now that the busy-ness of June is over... I really can start to enjoy it more!
Itching... (perpetually) to clean up my workroom and make progress on something... anything!
Knitting... The TTL Mystery Shawl has been a challenge this year due to issues with time and concentration. More than a few backward steps involved in this one... but moving forward at the moment!
Looking Forward To... A few days up north, after the 4th, with the girls and the babies!
Reading... I'm reading All The Light We Cannot See in book form, so it's slow going, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit -- and hoping that above-mentioned time up north with allow some extra reading time!
I was a little surprised -- and disappointed -- this morning to already hear the end of Lab Girl... which is, sadly, now no longer my "current" Audible book. I really enjoyed that book! And I'm sad that it's over. I had an inkling that I'd like it, based on description and reviews that I'd read, but had no idea how much I'd LOVE it! I especially loved listening to it being read by the author*; born and raised in Minnesota, of Scandinavian heritage -- so familiar with the details and nuances of her speech and delivery -- it was like listening to a friend or a family member.
Here is my progress so far -- I'm excited to be close to BINGO two ways! Next order of business: a new audio book... possibly one that is borrowed from the library!
Sewing... Oh, man... not much. I carry around the Magdalena A-line Top that I stenciled a while ago and began sewing, but it has barely seen the light of day. I will bring it up north, along with the visible mending that I'd like to in Sashiko (first and last mentioned a month ago!) (crazy June!).
Watching... there hasn't been a lot of that lately. And when I have watched something, it's been in total ZONE OUT mode, so I don't even remember. There have been some pretty sunsets lately, though.
Wondering... What's up with you right now!?
Knitting: Too many things. But I just finished Clue #1 for Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl 2016, and I continue to carry on with a few WIPs... none of which is doing very well at keeping me from wanting to cast on a colorful new (tiny little baby girl cardigan) project.
Sewing: There's some visible mending on deck: Sashiko. Rusty has a pair of jeans, I have secured supplies. My Alabama Chanin projects are still here, and I've a few other things in mind for machine sewing.
Reading/Pages: PAX. (For Bingo: With an animal on the cover or in the title.) I'm reading this book on Bonny's 5-star recommendation, and am enjoying it so far! I bought this book and will likely lend it to my nephews when I'm finished, then they can give it back for Jün and Gin to read.
Watching: I can't remember the last time I turned on the TV... and that, friends, is saying something. I usually wind down with a little knitting and TV, but I've been dead-tired (in a good way) and while I've managed a few rows of knitting in recent weeks, most of it hasn't been while watching TV. That said, one of the things I've been watching lately is the Faculty Film Series at Match Factory; a series of films by current faculty at Black Mountain School, and it's been interesting! They are short films about graffiti and skateboarding, among other things; the final film, Sign Painters, will be screened on Wednesday and I am looking forward to it.
I just had notification that Peaky Blinders S3 is out, which is in my pocket for a rainy day.
Hoping/Anticipating/Dreading (rinse & repeat): First day back with my personal trainer since she had surgery early last month... and I completely blew off the entire month of May. It was supposed to be yesterday, but she was unable to make it, so we'll try again on Tuesday. Back.to.Square.One. Pray.For.Me.
Planning: A long weekend/short week with the kiddos up north after the 4th of July, and possibly a short trip with Rusty to a Canadian Isle in the late summer or early fall.
Celebrating: Weddings!! My friends' daughter is getting married on Friday, June 10th; my cousin Jody is getting married on Saturday, June 18th; and I'm helping my niece photograph a wedding on Saturday, June 25th.
Enjoying: Another long weekend; I'm currently enjoying Day 2 of a 4-Day-er! (This is to offset an extra-long week on the other side.)
Eating: Better. Getting back on track, needing to lose the extra pounds that have once again accumulated, and feeling slightly more motivated to do so. What in the heck is it with MOTIVATION?
Drinking: Shrub. I'm going to make another rhubarb today, probably with a different type of vinegar, and thinking about all the other possibilities!
Organizing: I'm actually making a little progress on getting my workroom in shape.
Anticipating... Rites of Spring Fiber Frolic - a tour of yarn shops, fiber farms, coffee shops & cafes in NE Wisconsin. Make.Do and KC&T are on the map!
It'll be a fun few days... lambs, yarn, trunk shows, classes, tons of door prizes! And it could be even more fun & exciting with BFF's daughter's bridal shower and a new grandbaby's due date in the mix!! We'll see how it goes...
Celebrating... April Birthdays!!!
Drinking... G&T, the occasional IPA -- so many to choose from these days!
Eating... I've reinstated my subscription to Plated, and was sent an invitation to try Blue Apron, so have had a few deliveries lately and a lot of fun cooking -- samosas, chicken, salmon, meatballs, catfish. Yum.
Enjoying... finally, some summer-like weather!
Wearing... Sandals. Yay!
Itching... to PLAY WITH ALL THIS FABRIC. At the end of January, a "friend" from Utah shared an ad on FB by someone out there who was selling many yards of Alabama Chanin cotton jersey. My "friend" was even willing to pick it up and ship it to me. It was all just too good to pass up, so arrangements made, money transferred, parcels packed and posted, and voila! I have a ton more fabric to play with -- quite a few colors, many that I'd likely never order (minimums) but I'm happy to have/see/play with in person. My little color swatch cards are great, but there's a huge difference when you actually have enough fabric to hold and squeeze and see in so many more ways.
Sewing... my Alabama Chanin skirt. I'm closing in on the quilting of the third panel. I am considering starting the fourth right away and possibly not cutting those two pieces (which would be the back of the skirt) -- at least not right away. I don't know... it's been a design-as-you-go project from Day 1, subject to whim!
Knitting... because of the concentrated effort on sewing, the knitting has stalled. (Where has all the free time gone?)
- LOLA is underway, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it. In the meantime, digging through a bin of WIPs (a small bin), I discovered that I've had more of the Tsumugi silk all along, in the exact colorway!
- Romi's Mystery Shawl is also underway, but late one night I pulled the needle out of a few stitches at the end of a row and I haven't yet returned.
- I never got started on the Healthy Knitter KAL.
Listening... to The Golem and The Jinni. I had borrowed it on Overdrive, but holy cow it's a long book! The reading is lovely, but quite slow... combined with not a lot of listening time, I was barely past the quarter-mark when it was due! I even sped it up a bit. I was unable to renew it right away, so had to put it on hold again... not a fan of this aspect of Overdrive! I recently signed up for Audible, though, and used this month's credit for that book, so I should be safe. (I've still sped up the reading just a tad, even though I now have all the time in the world.)
Reading... The Whole Fromage. The author is a native of Wisconsin... so knows a little bit about cheese! I'd given this book to my mother a few years ago, but I don't think she ever read it.
Needing... to CLEAN UP & ORGANIZE! I know I say it at least once or twice a year: MY WORKROOM IS A DISASTER! It is worse than ever and I can't even imagine when I'm going to get to it. (Where has all the free time gone?)
Planning... June. Three weddings, three weekends in a row! And the start of our Farmer Market season (which, given new baby & etc., may take a June hiatus).
Watching... On deck: Shetland S1 and S2!
Wondering... Whether I'll have reason to use any of these patterns in the next few years. A couple were my ;)
Shocked... To open my browser this afternoon, only to be confronted with the news of Prince's death. RIP. Man... what a year, too many gone.
Knitting: There has been precious little knitting of late, and it's been pretty mindless.
I am occasionally picking up my second inner Dimorphous Mitten, and suspect that I'll finish that set by spring. Naturally.
The Scoreboard KAL has also been picked up on occasion, as well. I feel no urgency with that project, but definitely plan to finish before long.
DNA results have proven that there is no lemming in my lineage, so I am not Banging Out A Sweater, but truthfully, I am a lemming, so that has more to do with the pattern (knitting in the round and/or intarsia), and the fact that I already have innumerable sweaters in various stages of "banging out." I've entertained thoughts about working on one or two of them instead!
Sewing: There are a number of Alabama Chanin -ish projects in various stages, soon to be joined by another! My sister and I are ordering skirt kits that we'll work as part of a group. Annie has never done any AC-style sewing, so I'm welcoming her into the coven and preparing some of my AC stenciled fat eighths for practice when she's here next weekend.
Listening to: Dan Zanes with Junah; we especially love "Bushel and A Peck," a song that my mother sang to every single one of her grandchildren!
Reading: I just finished The Jesus Cow and immediately picked up The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd, which Katie gave me for my birthday, and which I am, so far, enjoying immensely! Incredible location, photos, sheep, humor... all good.
I recently finished my first audio book, Composed by Rosanne Cash (thank you, Margene, for the suggestion), and am currently awaiting Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain on my Overdrive app. Audiobooks have been a struggle for me, but beginning by listening to familiar voices reading their own stories seems to be a great way to start!
Watching: Outlander! On DVD. Finally.
Thinking about: An upcoming 3-day weekend in Chicago with my girls! All three!!
Planning: Oregon Coast get-away. I'll meet up with Rusty in No Cal and we'll drive up the Oregon coast, staying at a couple of Airbnb places -- one near Florence, where his dad is hoping to get something going, and one with a great view of Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City (where we got married 31 years ago) -- and visiting friends! We'll also be visiting my dad, and eventually making our way up to Portland where I'll catch a flight back home. I haven't been there in years (almost 25, to be exact) and am looking forward to it... more as time draws near, and more than I really expected.
Remembering: Mum. Her birthday is today; she'd be 78. This is one of my favorite photos of her -- 4th grade. Her whole face is electric, like she's going to burst out in giggles any second, or can't wait to get out on the playground with her friends (probably both)! This was just before "Cyril," who sat behind her in class, cut off one of her braids. I remember her telling me how she'd go into Grandma's bedroom every morning to have her braids done, and how upset Grandma was with Cyril. And, oh, that gap in her teeth -- it wasn't fixed 'til she got braces when she was in her 40s -- so incredible at the time for an adult to get braces! XOXOX. I miss you everyday Mom.
Knitting: Scoreboard KAL continues! I fell behind -- the second half of the season being not as exciting (fewer wins) as the first -- and just started Week 13 last night, which is a total of 50 rows. There's another 176 regular-season points/rows to knit after that, along with a dozen or so divider rows between games. I'm not sure about knitting post season yet. I will power through and finish this, though, because it will be one of the most awesome additions to my game-day wardrobe ever!
I'm also still working on an alpaca bunny for Junie; I've stalled at the head -- sewing up & embroidering features (the make it or break it part).
Sewing: Grainline Studio's STOWE Bag. Also need to finish sewing the Alabama Chanin Long Vest; beading & finishing an AC Corset that has been languishing; and also finish the binding on an AC-inspired T-shirt refashion.
Reading: The Jesus Cow by Michael Perry, my book from Sandy during last month's 1st Annual Book & Chocolate Exchange.
Watching: River on Netflix.
Hoping/Anticipating/Dreading (rinse & repeat): First workouts next week with a personal trainer.
Thinking about: How much better I'll feel... after I first will likely feel worse.
Planning: Another quick o'night birthday celebration coming up in a couple of weeks in Milwaukee, this time with Annie!
Celebrating: Junah's 2nd birthday on the 12th (I can hardly believe it); party this weekend! When I told Annie about it, she wrote, "Mack says there's no way he's missing that!!!" So the boys will be here, too.
Remembering: Mum -- her birthday is at the end of the month, she'd be 78.
Wishing: I didn't have to remember.
Eating: A lot of Mexican food lately!
Drinking: Margaritas from scratch!
Itching to: Get back to my sewing projects, but first...
Needing to: Get my workroom cleaned up! (Time and energy have been hit and miss lately.)
Organizing: EOY and tax stuff.
Wondering: When if I'll get the tree down this weekend.
Watching: Well, last night it was FOOTBALL... they're calling it the Miracle in Motown. And it was. I've also begun watching Madame Secretary (S1 on Netflix).
Reading: COOP by Michael Perry. I've had this book since it was hot off the press and Michael signed it for me (and posed with Flat Stanley) during an appearance at our local book festival. I guess it needed to cool off. I've read TRUCK in the meantime, and next will likely pluck VISITING TOM from the stack. I am loving it, of course; I enjoy his writing.
Knitting: As of last night, I'm ready for the last section/finish of the March Through Time KAL. I've enjoyed knitting this project and I'm looking forward to wearing it.
I also finished a hat last night (except for some weaving in) and cast on another, the second of four that I intend to knit for Christmas gifts. I'll be using the same pattern for all, but each in a different yarn(s). Super bulky yarn! Oh, these colors...
Listening to: 25 by Adele. Hello, of course, but I definitely have some other favorites.
Thinking about: Going somewhere. I think Mexico/Cali is out because of logistics. A few days in Chicago with the girls is likely in. But I want to GOOOO SOMEWHERE!
Dreading: Choosing not to feel dreadful about anything right now.
Planning: The holiday festivities, the last of the shopping, baking.
Celebrating: With my coworkers tonight at a company party!
Drinking: Coffee, tea, London Fog (Earl Grey) latte, gin, beer, kombucha, water.
Itching to: Get back to sewing!
Needing to: Get my tree up!
Organizing: My gift list.
How about YOU? What's up with you?
Humored by... that kid! He started pressing the button and...
This is a small sampling of my current gallery!
Anticipating... the end of Farmers Market season. It's been a great season, and we've been *so* lucky with the weather! While there are technically three weeks remaining, due to other engagements we've only the Oct. 10th market left on our calendar. This Saturday, we'll instead be helping all afternoon with refreshments at the Harvest Festival at Grignon Mansion! The "mansion in the woods" is a real gem.
I'll be happy to have my Saturdays back!
Enjoying... cooler, drier weather and changing leaves and gorgeous skies. We've had an incredibly temperate late summer/early fall. I'm still wearing sandals!
Hoping... the trend continues.
Knitting... Dimorphous Mittens and Scoreboard. I've just ordered a couple of skeins of back-up yarn for my Prickly Poppy -- something I've been pondering for a while now -- prompted to action by the news that The Village Knitter is looking for a buyer (or will eventually close). That sweater's time out is just about over.
Learning... a little about soccer! I spent a glorious day soaking up the sun and watching my nephews play. I missed seeing Mack score a goal because I was taking video of the clouds (as did his mother because nature called!), but I did catch his even better assist (according to his dad) later in the game!
Needing... to get on with some cleaning and organizing, but not doing that until it's too cold to go outside anymore!
Planning... a spring vacation -- maybe by train, maybe to Texas!
Reading... A Woman's Way West. It's not an incredibly well-written book, but it's entertaining and gives a pretty good a glimpse (with lots of photos!) into Doris Huffine's life (1901-1990) in the Montana wilderness. I love stories of women pioneers, and was given this book after the girls had gone on their June 2013 camping trip to Glacier National Park (where Doris began working in the '20s).
Sewing... a simple and "quick" boatneck top that's taking forever! I made a little progress yesterday... maybe I'll finish by the weekend.
Watching... reality shows about singing and dancing. There are some other things recorded/-ing but I haven't begun watching yet.
Remembering... waking up from Tuesday's nap.
Wishing... I was on the road back to Black Mountain with Kate! She left today for a weekend conference and I can't wait to hear all about it.
Anticipating... Three days with nephews in the house next week! There will be knitting, dyeing, drawing, and swimming... for starters.
Eating... Grilled Skewered Chicken Thighs with Tzatziki, Salt-roasted Beets with Pistachio Vinaigrette (and Goat Cheese) a la The Purple Pig (some of our favorite things on their menu); Souvlaki (because we'd already made Tzatziki); and Kolokithokeftedes are on the menu!
Enjoying... The occasional Caprese Salad with tomatoes and basil from our little patio/pergola garden. Those tomatoes are SO good!
Inspired by... (apparently, at the moment) Mediterranean cuisine!
Knitting... I have finally finished the Back and have moved on to Left Front of my Prickly Poppy Cardi!
Listening... I'm really digging Junah babbles (when I can).
Planning... (trying to decide on) my next Alabama Chanin project: a dress (or two or three), a vest, a cardi, a skirt? All are under consideration. I also have a couple of rompers for Junah in mind.
Reading... Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, for book club. I just finished The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I certainly don't churn through books, so we won't even talk about BINGO.
Remembering... Team SOS and their second-to-last 9th place finish four years ago at the Fit City Triathlon! By contrast, this has been a very inactive summer, but certainly not an idle summer! (I have recently resumed planking... it's something.)
Sewing... the long-term joint quilt project with Ali (again). Thankfully, there are only a few short steps to go before it's all pieced together and we send it off to be quilted. Hallelujah! (Also, the self-imposed order to not start anything new until this thing is finished will be moooooot.)
Splurging... I am tempted to splurge on the new Alabama Chanin DIY Makeshift Design Tote Kit. But what I really really want is to go to Florence! That's a whole 'nother level of splurge, though, and even though there's a Classic Weekend Workshop on my birthday this year, I just can't go to that level of indulgence (even for my birthday). However, instead of wishing & whining (even if it's only to myself), I've decided to start saving $5* for Florence. I won't be going for my birthday, because it isn't going to happen that fast, but maybe in a year or two!
Watching... Justified. We've made it to S5. So hooked.
*I have utilized this $5 savings plan before, usually when there's a fun little trip coming up and I think I might want some extra cash. Ali & Rod basically paid for midwifery services that way. Maddy recently bought a new computer with her $5 savings! It's pretty painless and it sure adds up... 5, 10, 15, 20 (I've always loved counting by 5s).
#tbt #sparklers - I'm thinking 1963 in Madison, where my Uncle Cliff was either in medical school or doing a residency. Pictured, my cousins Gail & Gordy and their mother, Aunt Cece, at left; Sharon, Mom holding Michael, Karen, and me.
Celebrating... the 4th of July! I'll be making lemonade at the farmers' market in the morning, also cheering on all of the participants in the annual Firecracker 5K Walk/Run. (We're either going to be very busy at the market, or very not busy... hard to say.) That will no doubt be followed by a short nap, and later I'll happily enjoy watching fireworks on TV while I knit.
Drinking... sparkling water with fresh lemon and/or lime juice, and sometimes gin; also the occasional caipirinha.
Enjoying... some fabulous weather!
Itching... to SEW, SEW, SEW!
Knitting... I'm still, very slowly, plugging away at Prickly Poppy, but most of my knitting time (or tinking, if you want to look at it that way) has been devoted to the current TTL Mystery Shawl.
Listening... to Bear's Den: Islands. "Think of England," a song from that album, was mentioned on a recent Ten on Tuesday list about the tunes on my playlist; I've since been listening to all of their music, and I really like it. A lot. The clip above is more of a "behind the scenes" kind of thing, with some nice glimpses of Scotland, and bits of songs and shows.
Reading... I'm still reading Still Alice.
Sewing... Embellishment of the front of my Alabama Chanin A-line Dress/Tunic continues! I'm at the half-way mark and hope to do a lot of stitching over the weekend.
Watching... (and loving) Justified; we've just begun watching Season 2 on Amazon Prime.
Wearing... my beloved Taos sandals. I slipped on a spill a couple of weeks ago as we left the wedding in Minneapolis and I sort of crumbled, both ankles twisting, and fell hard on my knees. My left ankle and knee fared a bit worse than the right, sore and swollen. The swelling was down enough today that I was able to comfortably slip into those shoes!
Wondering... what it's like to be so fearless! That's my baby (the one -- the only one -- who's also jumped out of airplanes), at/on McAfee Knob on the Appalachian Trail. It just makes me want to hug the ground.
Watching: For the first time ever, North & South (any version). (I don't understand how this has flown under my radar for so long.)
Reading: Olive Kitteridge. It's been on my nightstand for ages! There are a lot of books on my nightstand (because it's actually a small bookshelf) and I'm going to read the books I've been collecting there or get rid of them! Maybe I'll hit a BINGO along the way! (And check Mary's post for a fun contest!)
Knitting: Prickly Poppy (see yesterday).
Dreading: I've been to the dentist and have already paid the piper for new tires... I guess there's some work on the brakes to be done soon; other than that, I see nothing too dreadful on the horizon!
Humming: Florence + The Machine - Delilah from the upcoming new album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
Drinking: Lots of fresh citrus in sparkling water, over ice. So refreshing! I mix it up -- sometimes all one fruit, sometimes a combo. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit... I love the tartness! Occasionally, I plop in some frozen raspberries for color and yum.
Celebrating: My nephew's high school graduation! We'll be making a day-trip drive north on Saturday for the party.
Listening to: Birds in the morning. I love waking up to birds singing.
Looking forward to: a short road trip with Kate to visit Black Mountain, NC. She has larger purpose, I'm going along for the ride, as I've never been to that part of the country. I've heard there's a great yarn store in Black Mountain, and lots of great shops and things to do in and around Asheville.
Needing to: Pack my bags! The project + camera bags threaten to far outnumber those for clothing + toiletries.
Delighted by: The new & aligned tires on my car! It's the little things...
Inspired by: Makers and Doers.
Watching... Law & Order UK
Reading... Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
Knitting... Making progress on Junah's Devan! Fronts and sleeves are done, the back was cast on last night. It won't be long!
Looking forward to... Starting Romi's Mystery.
Drinking... trying to drink more water!
Wearing... Cropped pants and sandals. It's April. It's time. (I need a pedi, though.)
Organizing... Nothing at the moment. I'm thinking that I need a few days off at home -- a long weekend would be nice.
Celebrating... Whoa. This month!! We begin with two cousins' birthdays today, all three of my girls' coming up, an aunt, an uncle, a nephew, and finishing with what would have been my Grampa's 105th.
Listening to... All sorts of things on Spotify. Boxer Rebellions' Winter Jams playlist, the new Decemberists album.
Itching to... GET OUTSIDE!
Looking forward... still... to GETTING OUTSIDE! And also (still) the new Alabama Chanin book. SOON!
Needing to... Make sure I have everything I need for an indigo dye vat -- specifically, a large enough vessel.
Delighted by... the first crocus of the season, spotted yesterday! They were yellow.
What's up with you right now?
Watching: House of Cards. Also The Voice... I just can't help it.
Reading: Only what's required.
Knitting: I'm sort of in between right now. Starting & stopping with a couple of cowls from the Knit In... can they be knit flat and seamed or buttoned? Man, I hate circs. Small hexagons in fingering-weight yarn are my long-term stand-by, and in my bag right now.
Humming: Along with the Oldies station on the radio. It's sometimes scary what counts.
Drinking: I found the PSYCHOPATH! (I love my new beer glass.)
Wearing: All the things and I've been complaining about it. It looks as though I may soon be able to shed a layer or two!
Organizing: Tax stuff. I'm aiming for a weekend finish. That would be so cool.
Celebrating: Celebrate Michael Day was last Saturday, and his birthday is coming up, as is my stepdad's birthday, and my brother-in-law's, and a nephew's... March is a busy month!
Itching to: Leave the house without my jacket on! It's too soon to hope for sandal weather, but I'm itching to ditch the shoes, too.
Looking forward to: The weather! It's cold today, but the solar gain in my office is AMAZING, and a warming trend begins tomorrow... 40s on the weekend! All eyes (well, all of mine) are on next Wednesday -- 53F on My.Day.Off. I might even ride my bike. I get my weather from Weather Underground; there's also an app for that!
Needing to: Get back to the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up!
Delighted by: The thought of a cooler, less humid house this summer. After 27.5 years, we bit the bullet yesterday and the central air & purification system will be installed on Monday.
Inspired by: Romi's Mystery Shawl 2015! No-brainer.
Watching: We've begun rewatching Seasons 1 & 2 of House Of Cards in preparation for the release of Season 3 on Feb. 27th.
Reading: Tropic of Cancer... and I cannot. I need a little more organization.
I also need a good beach read.
Knitting: Sophie's Rose Shawlette by Michele Bernstein. (You must read/watch her story about new shoes, Harry Smith, PDX, and the NBC Nightly News!) Anyway, this is part of the Hugs & Kisses KAL in the PDXKnitterati Ravelry Group; the official KAL start date is Feb. 1st. I'm getting a head start, as it's vacation knitting and I don't want to have to think too hard. My MC yarn may be too busy...
Drinking: Cerveza! Testing, 1-2-3. Just getting myself acclimated...
Wearing: Nothing that will be packed in my suitcase.
Organizing KonMari-ing: Has taken a back seat at the moment, but I'll be refreshed and ready upon our return from Mexico. It's the annual-ish purge but so different this time -- with much more oomph and, I believe, results that will last. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo is changing my life. Yep.
Celebrating: My last workday for a little while.
Listening to: Dr. Blair's Spanish in No Time. I'm learning listening to Spanish in my car!
Itching to: GO!!!
Looking forward to: Sunday morning and everything vacation.
Needing to: Finish packing.
Delighted by: The weather forecast. Also full moon!
...as in Right Now.
Watching ... the approaching autumn, and feeling it, too. Brrrr.
Reading ... Outlander, and I'll be reading it for a long, long time at the pace I'm going. I've been enjoying it; sad that there isn't a way to watch the series without a cable subscription.
Knitting ... I've been doing a lot more sewing than knitting, but baby needs a hat so I just cast on last night to make Alfalfa! Even with an adjustment or two, it'll likely be too small for Junah; if that's the case we'll save it for the next one, but I'll know what needs to be done to make one that does fit.
Or I'll find another pattern.
>>What's your favorite hat pattern (with ties or a strap) for a baby closing in on toddlerhood?
Sewing ... making progress on an Alabama Chanin corset kit.
Dreading ... the approaching autumn, or, rather, what's to follow.
Listening ... to everything! Truly. From opera to country, rap to rock, soundtracks to oldies, alternative, folk, indie, classical, Americana, jazz...
Thinking ... about a fun Door County weekend coming up with Kate and my sister Ann! We head up tonight, do a 25-mile bike ride tomorrow, enjoy a truly gourmet meal afterwards along with some great music and beer. We'll certainly also find some fall color, cherries and apples!
More Thinking ... about attending the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest in a couple of weeks with my sister Karen.
Celebrating ... every little thing.
Planning ... a long-overdue big family weekend up north next month.
Itching ... to straighten and fluff my nest, readying for hibernation I guess.
Drinking ... a wide variety of beer.
Needing ... to continue getting my house/life back in order and on a new track.
Organizing ... my thoughts.
Inspired ... by the sudden resurgence and renewed commitment of some old-time favorite bloggers.
Having happily and regularly blogged through the Big Blog Slump, lo these many years, lately, as so many others are apparently refreshed and renewed (for the moment, anyway), I've been feeling it slip.
I'm inspired to try a little harder.
Ali posted this photo yesterday, "We're sad that this little handknit is not going to fit for much longer." It's the One-Stitch Baby Sweater by Lion Brand.
Delighted ... by my little Junebug. He's 8 months old today!!!
What's currently going on with you right now?
Here's to a great weekend!!
In a nutshell.
WATCHING: The Olympics...
READING: The Paris Wife. I'm actually going to finish it on time for book club! It's like a miracle or something.
KNITTING TINKING: Follow Your Arrow. I had a mishap with some extra stitches and the pattern's off in one part now. Blech.
LISTENING TO: Rosanne Cash, among other things, but this a lot lately.
THINKING ABOUT: Taxes... two returns down, two to go.
CELEBRATING: Two finished tax returns!
PLANNING: Scottish Highlands vacation.
ITCHING TO: Sew. Stencil and sew and cut and maybe even do some beaded embellishment.
DRINKING: Beer. Spotted Cow at the moment. Well, not at this very moment, unless you're reading at beer o'clock.
NEEDING TO: Dust my house.
ORGANIZING: A lot of the stuff I "downsized" out of the upstairs apartment.
INSPIRED BY: Spoilers. I have taken a peek at the Follow Your Arrow FO spoilers and may change the tinking to an all-out frogging for a re-start.
DELIGHTED BY: Room to grow!
Happy Valentine's Day!