Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Book Bingo 2015.'s back (click here for the BotNS Podcast and here to download your card)! and just in time as my Memorial Day Weekend officially kicks off this evening. But for purposes of this Book Bingo, we'll count books finished between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends - Saturday, May 23 through Monday, September 7. I think this is the longest "summer reading" period possible...which is good since I've got some doozies on my card. "At least 800 pages", "Nonfiction" and "A biography of someone I dislike".

We'll follow the same rules as last year - each book you finish counts for one square. Each completed Bingo (a row, a column or a diagonal) earns you one entry in the drawing. I'll choose a winner from the pool of Bingos in September. (Bonny won last year - she covered her card, which counted for 12 Bingos...kind of a slam dunk!)

Wishing you a summer of delightful reading...and more than a few Bingos!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | A Commencement Address.

...this week, Carole's asked us to share ten things we'd say in a commencement address (quite fitting, since her daughter Hannah graduated with high honors and a double major from college this past weekend - you can see and read more about that celebration here). One of the very first Ten on Tuesdays I remember doing was way back in August, 2010 - advice for our new college freshmen. It's hard to believe that period is over ... for both of us!

It's been great fun these past few weeks to see photos and read about another class of graduates. I was saving this favorite of mine for a throwback, but it serves today's post better, I think.
at Sara's 2014 commencement (thank you to my mom for the photo!) - this is our Georgia Tech family!
Marc ('82 Architecture), Katie ('09 Industrial Engineering), me ('83 Applied Mathematics), Sara ('14 Industrial Engineering), my dad ('61 Chemical Engineering), Rob ('08 Business)
Here goes:

1. Yikes, I wish y'all had hired J.K. Rowling. Her speech was brilliant. smart, funny, poignant and memorable. Gay wizards, anyone?!
Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can’t remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, the law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard. 
You see? If all you remember in years to come is the ‘gay wizard’ joke, I’ve come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step to self improvement.
2. So was Neil Gaiman's. His address was to The University of the Arts, but it still speaks powerfully to this technical graduate. The closing bit is one of my favorites:
And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.
3. But you didn't hire them. Instead you have me. I graduated from college 32 years ago with a degree in Applied Mathematics (from a school known mostly for its engineering degrees) and a job, engaged to marry the guy I started dating before classes even started my freshman year. We will celebrate our 32nd anniversary this fall. We've raised two lovely daughters, who did graduate with those coveted engineering degrees, and are delighted to have the start of what we hope will be a bigger extended family. We've certainly been through some very rocky times, and it's never easy...but it's easier with the right partner. Choose wisely.

4. As women, we've seen remarkable strides in career opportunities. Which also means we have tough choices. Make the choice(s) that are best for you and your family...and please, support all the other women, especially those who have made a different choice.

5. Take care of yourself. Your mind and your body will likely age at different rates...good care will help to minimize the gap(s).

6. Laugh often. especially at yourself. and never at the expense of others.

7. Be generous.

8. and kind.

9. Always keep learning.

10. Wear sunscreen.

Good luck, best wishes...and congratulations!

(click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Charlie's Back!

...yep, he and his parents are back from the beach. I wasted no time and hosted a little brunch yesterday. So many photo opportunities! (which was a very good thing ... thank goodness we'll have more time next weekend to practice!) In all seriousness, I love that my dad wanted to try first. "Try", of course, being the operative word. But these five photos (all taken in under one minute) are my favorites of the whole party.

They tell part of a wonderful story, Little Charlie Clay and his Grandpa Roy.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Not Knitting.

Thursday's walk...the baby geese are growing up fast!
...I woke up Sunday with a very sore right arm; the few rows I attempted made it worse. I gave it a few hours rest and some ice and tried again that afternoon. nope. I haven't knitted since then. Five whole days ago. I am happy to report that my arm feels a lot better - and I'm going to try a little (really, just a "little"!) knitting this weekend just to see how it goes. I have an appointment with an elbow specialist on Wednesday. I wonder if I'll be the first knitter she's seen? my guess is no.

In any event, it's been a weird week. No knitting. No Charlie (although Katie has been very good about sharing photos and we've even facetimed a few times). No long walks with Holly (of course she can't walk the whole way so I'd carry my right arm). No TV (I just can't do it without the knitting!).

Instead, I've been

reading. I started and finished Liane Moriarty's Three Wishes, Lucy Knisley's Relish and Gretchen Rubin's Better than Before. That many books in a week makes it almost seem like vacation!

running and walking. My friend Lauren is back and we did our regular four miles at the park Monday and Thursday. I ran the other days. I'm really enjoying my solo runs - I even put a little music on my phone to keep me company this morning.

last night's bookclub
catching up. correspondence, blogs, housekeeping, to-do lists, plans...things that require all of my brain and two hands to execute. geez, even the laundry hamper is empty (right this very second, anyway - that will change as soon as Marc gets home!) ... and no, the ironing is still not done - that seemed to require too much "right arm" ;-)

re-thinking my summer knitting plans. If I'm going to be knitting less over the next few months (yikes, I hope that's all it takes) I want to be sure I'm knitting the right things. For sure I want to knit Kirsten's Mystery Shawl (in Shibui Twig. the ash colorway). and I need to knit the baby girl sweater for our pastor's new daughter.  I'd love to finish Same Same and the Fine Bias Scarf so I could wear them. My sister started Twinleaf this week and I'm going to knit-along with her. And then - surprisingly - I want to finish the crocheted afghan.

this morning's smelled wonderful
paying more attention. being truly present. definitely an intention, so I'm (trying to be) grateful for the opportunity to make it happen. (yeah, you know I typed and re-typed this last sentence. the first iterations were nowhere near that...nice!)

Five days is nothing really...and all the things I've done more of this week I'd like to keep doing. But I hope to be back to knitting...just a little...soon!

Wishing you the very best of weekends...and much happy knitting!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Throwback Thursday | Cousins Re-connecting.

That's me in July 1968 (age 5) in my first and only appearance as a flower girl. My grandmother made my dress. Pale yellow dotted swiss with a yellow satin ribbon. with white patent leather shoes, gloves, and even a bow for my hair.

The bride was my dad's first cousin Becky (that makes her my first cousin once removed; she's the youngest daughter of my grandmother's youngest sister... these details are important for small-town Southern families). She married George, her high school sweetheart, shortly after he graduated from the University of Alabama. Becky's older sister Kay was her matron of honor.

The wedding took place in my dad's (and Becky's and George's) hometown church (those stained glass windows are stunning, aren't they?)

Fast forward a dozen or so years and I was in Atlanta, attending Georgia Tech. Becky and George and their two little boys lived here. I remember she came down to campus a few times to pick me up for a lunch/shopping date. No photos...but I'll bet we both looked 35 years younger than we do now!

Fast forward another 35(ish) years and Becky and George still live in Atlanta, and so do their sons, and a daughter-in-law & granddaughter. And of course now I'm here with my husband, a daughter & son-in-law & a grandson, a sister and her family and a brother and his family. At my parents' urging, I arranged a lunch (no shopping!) for us to re-connect. The five of us enjoyed a three hour lunch on Tuesday...and had a ball. I can't wait to see them again - and introduce them to the rest of my family! I think we're going to have some very good times.
Becky, me and George
my mom, Becky and me
George and my dad
my dad and mom and me 
all of us
I'm not much for regrets (35 years??!!), so I can only trust that the timing was finally just right. Becky and George have re-done the family home in that Southern small town and made it comfortable and welcoming for guests (even, George assures me, little dogs!) I'm hoping to visit this fall. I would love to have some good adult memories to add to the ones I made as a child - and I would love for my family to make some too!