Tuesday, June 28, 2011

10 things I love about the 4th of july.

july 4, 2009 - katie & I had a picnic in central park
1. a day to celebrate our heritage of freedom with pride and patriotism - I especially love seeing our national flag flying everywhere.

2. fireworks. I used to like to see them in person, but now I'm just as happy watching on tv, along with the capitol 4th or boston pops. some years I fall asleep before they even start, but this year I'm going to dvr them!

3. sparklers. (and photos of sparkler words)

4. parades.

5. picnics. there's something about meal eaten on a blanket spread on the grass in the shade of a big tree that screams "summer".

6. watermelon.

7. lemonade. (spiked for the grown-ups :-)

8. flag cake.

9. cheering the peachtree road race participants, especially my sister-in-law lydia.

10. red, white and blue. not my favorite color combination, but for one day, they look fabulous together! this year, I'm planning jeans, a white t-shirt and my one red shawl.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

the second lap.


...hoping the cooler temperature and lower humidity, combined with the fact we hadn't been to the park since friday might give holly the energy for two laps. nope. she made it about half-way through the first, walked a bit, and then pretty much gave up. I figure carrying her means more exercise for me, so maybe it's a win-win?

but after the park we went to the vet (time for that super unpleasant semi-annual tapeworm check) and she got weighed. 8 pounds and a few ounces - wow, that's a half-pound gain in just six months. I'm thinking she needs the exercise more than I do!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

working on the weekend.

...still seems weird to me. not the teaching part. but the working in the shop, selling yarn, advising customers, fixing knitting part. after 27+ years in the corporate, monday through friday (where you need the weekends to catch up) world, I still haven't adjusted to "working on the weekend". so much so that I thought this song was about working on the weekend, not for it :-)

but at our shop we each take a turn (or two or three or four...fortunately, I have only one) to fill the saturday schedule. and today was mine for the month of june. I advertised with my students and friends that I'd be there today. love how much faster the time flies when I see friendly faces, especially around the yellow table knitting. and there was a table full all afternoon (sorry, no photos, but thanks, ladies!).

...it was a great day for the shop, and a long day for me.

until my sister texted about meeting up for a glass of wine after. yes, please! (btw, check out this great new pasta restaurant...dog friendly outdoor seating and a great wine list.  LOVE!)

and I got home and sara had grilled eggplant and pureed plums...waiting to become dinner (and holly had company outside her crate all day)

and we watched hgtv and I had time to bind off the 350+ stitches on vitamin gray.

not to say I want to make a habit out of working on saturdays, but when they end like this, they're pretty good!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

10 books I'd recommend to a friend.

...love the topic this week - and very much looking forward to others' recommendations! thank you, carole, for the timely topic!
the bookshelf in my bedroom...back in april, 2009! it's a little messier these days,  but still holds my favorite books
here's my list, in no particular order:

1. forever, by pete hamill. the story of a man who lives forever, but only if he never leaves the island of manhattan.

2. harry potter and the deathly hallows (the 7th one), by j.k. rowling. but only after reading the other six! this was my favorite of the series.

3. sense and sensibility, by jane austen. I read/re-read all of her novels (save mansfield park - still hoping to get to that one this year) over the past two years and this one replaced pride and prejudice as my favorite. (but the BBC version of pride and prejudice with colin firth as mr. darcy is my absolute favorite video version!)

4. gone with the wind, by margaret mitchell. the movie was good, but oh my, the book was so much better!

5. the art of racing in the rain, by garth stein. narrated by enzo the dog. we just read this for bookclub and everyone loved it.

6. the help, by kathryn stockett. one of the few stories about racism in the south that I've truly enjoyed.

7. the history of love, by nicole krauss. a story within a story within a story. (and all of them are good!)

8. the book thief, by markus zusak. set mostly in nazi germany, narrated by death. interesting, thought provoking and hard to put down.

9. beach music, by pat conroy. my favorite of his books. recently re-read and just as enjoyable the second time.

10. the last days of summer, by steve kluger. a little bit about baseball, but mostly a well-told coming of age story that's presented as letters, notes, newspaper clippings, even scribblings on a napkin and matchbook cover.

thank you, goodreads, for reminding me about a few of these titles. you can see all of my favorites here. (and please friend me - I'd love to see what you're reading, too!)

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Monday, June 20, 2011

currents.

our front yard...with kim klassen's warm vignette texture

listening: the whirr of the ceiling fan and the ticking clock. love a quiet monday morning to start the week!

eating: oatmeal raisin chewy granola bar

drinking: water, lots and lots of water! (yes, still!)

wearing: a sleeveless dress - just about the coolest thing I own (that's fit to leave the house :-)

feeling: surprisingly happy about having no more plans to travel this summer

weather: 80 degrees at 9:30 am and oh.my.humid.

wanting: a good book recommendation; katie, sara and I are reading together this summer and it's my turn to pick the book (previous selections include the art of racing in the rain, sarah's key and the help - a pretty high bar!)

needing: a new refrigerator, sadly this has moved from a want to a need...it just can't keep the frozen stuff frozen or the cold stuff cold anymore

thinking: about c.s. lewis and his writings on christianity; I just finished the great divorce and have mere christianity and the problem of pain waiting on my shelf

enjoying: the crepe myrtles, probably one of my favorite things about summer; those pretty blooms almost make the heat and humidity worthwhile!

wondering: how to tackle the june OLW prompt - creating nine (baseball card-sized) little works of art to illustrate our word. stay tuned!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy father's day!

...to my dad. this year, I'm remembering the three week long camping trips we took each summer when we lived in wyoming (1971-1976). we'd pack up the rambler station wagon and a little trailer and I think a car-top carrier? (and of course it was my mom and dad packing - we kids were around ages 11, 8 and 6...too young to be much use at that!) with a tent, air mattresses, sleeping bags, coleman stove, coolers, chairs, anything and everything we needed.
steve, karen, mary and roy - teton national park, july 1971
my dad did all the driving while my mom navigated - back in the day when we had big paper maps of each state. and the three of us kids shared the back seat. I don't remember who sat where, but I'm guessing I had one of the window seats and my younger brother and sister fought for the other one :-).

we saw everything worth seeing in the northwest US and canada. the tetons were a relatively short drive from our home in casper and we visited there (and the bighorns) more than once. we saw some spectacularly beautiful country. and spent some wonderful time together as a family.

thank you, daddy, for giving me that time and those happy* memories!

*like I wrote in his card - time tends to fade the bad memories, and I know I didn't enjoy everything. days without showers. outhouses. bugs. dirt. not so much fun for this pre-teen. and maybe why I'm not a camper now. but those summer trips were a huge part of my childhood and I wouldn't have traded them for anything.

Friday, June 17, 2011

remembering hilton head.

...yay! photos from our trip to hilton head to visit our dear friends sue and david are done!
click the image to see all the photos and details on flickr
we had a wonderful time...of course the company (and the food!) was wonderful, but it was also fun to visit when the weather was nice (our last two trips were during the winter and while winter in hilton head is not quite "winter", it's still not swimsuit fun!)

here's my short list of the things I want to remember:

♥ sara & I shared the driving; I LOVE being able to knit in the car (and I'm really proud of how great a driver she is!)
♥ I hadn't seen sue since january 2010, but it was like we just saw each other a few weeks ago. our friendship is a real blessing in my life.
♥ sue & david aren't "dog people", but they love holly! (the feeling is mutual I think)
♥ long walks with sue & holly...even though I had to carry holly for part of each.
♥ holly's reaction to the ocean. I don't know why I thought she'd love it (maybe because I do?!), but she is not a fan. it's like one very very big puddle I guess and she made sure to keep me between her and the water.
♥ the food (of course). it was all delicious. I am happy to add CQ's, the santa fe cafe and hilton head diner to my list of restaurant recommendations (truffles was already there from a previous trip).
♥ the drinks (of course). gin & tonics are simply better shared on a patio with friends. and I have a new summer favorite wine. picpoul de pinet. david sent me home with two bottles and I'm hoping I can find it locally.
♥ sharing the trip with sara. she is fun company and a polite houseguest. I feel so fortunate that my girls are friends with my friends.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

10 things to enjoy now.

...this is not an "official" ten on tuesday post. and it's not even the may one little word update I'd planned to do instead. that was all about getting things done and checking off things on my to-do list (and even getting a to-do list application for my iphone that synchs with my macbook - which I did yesterday morning - and btw I LOVE this app!).

because once I read this devotion, which "conveniently" (got to love his timing, no?) landed in my inbox yesterday morning, I knew today's post needed to be about things to enjoy.
lantana on my deck, with kim klassen's just cause and pour vous textures and a favorite verse I'm taking to heart!
1. the colors of summer...the pots on my deck are full of bright greens, yellows, pinks and oranges and the crepe myrtles are almost ready to burst open

2. the sunrise

3. an early morning walk with vanessa, two laps around the park and plenty of time to catch up

4. holly asleep on the floor by my feet

5. knitting with friends

6. looking through the book that katie made me of our last year's photo collaboration

7. a second cup of coffee while I catch up on google reader

8. an evening phone call with katie talking about books we want to read together and our september beach trip

9. staying up way past my bedtime on a monday night to watch the last two episodes of sex and the city with sara (and clicking on the alice video at the top of this post when I pull up her blog to grab the link...and watching it)

10. taking a photo, having fun with layers and adjustments and textures in photoshop and creating something pretty to look at...and putting it in a blog post I'm writing just because...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

more knitting.

...projects finished. and started. and planned.

in other words, the very best of what knitting has to offer - at least for me!

first up, white sangria. finished.
raveled here
it was fun and fast to knit (just a week - wow!) I love the fit, even though my bust darts are not quite where the designer intended them (she has the short ones on the outside being really to the outside...on me, they're just about dead center) and the big lace band is barely under my bust. but it hides my bra. and the swingy shape looks great with a skirt - and just as good with shorts. the yarn I used - debbie bliss bella is a blend of cotton, silk and cashmere - is lovely. I expect I'll wear this a lot! (note to self - do not knit the lace band while drinking the white sangria from thea's recipe. the white sangria is delicious, but best accompanied by straight stockinette :-)


raveled here
then vitamin D. started. (note to self: monogamous sweater knitting does seem to yield quicker progress... I swatched for this and white sangria at the same time, but didn't cast on until white sangria was blocked). this is my 4th time knitting one of heidi's designs (I made peasy. twice. and fallaway) and so far it's my favorite. the pattern is fun and the yarn I'm using - mirasol's nuna is a dream. of course knitting a sweater on size 4 needles takes a while. and a wool blend (even this one which is super-soft and drape-y with silk and bamboo) isn't exactly the best thing for my lap in the 90+ degree heat.


so I broke down and joined the shop's lolita craze. it helped a lot that wendy knit the small size, wore it on friday and let me try it on (thanks, wendy!)  it fits great. and it's just 4 balls of a cotton/silk blend yarn and a lace pattern that I hope to memorize quickly. yep, beach knitting!! sara and I leave for hilton head on wednesday afternoon. I'm hoping to have this one done by the time we're back on sunday. (lofty goals are not a bad thing - and an opportunity to use my favorite lantern moon straights is not to be missed!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011