Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10 thoughts about fifty for 50.

...taking a break today from carole's prompt to share an update on my fifty for 50 project. I'd wanted to do this last week since that was close to the one-third done mark (and carole even took a break!), but sara was home, and I had ella to finish...and I just didn't! I did however, thanks to a gentle push from sara "yeah mom, where are you with all those things you wanted to do this year?", post an electronic page here on my blog (with a link on the sidebar) to track my progress.
the paper, as of this morning...
so, with 234 still days to go, here are my top ten thoughts about this project.

1. be flexible. just because something was important to me back in november doesn't mean it still is. other more important things are bound to come up. or even if they don't, it's ok to let something go. I've replaced re-reading the harry potter books with reading seven new-to-me 5-star books (the gargoyle was the first; welcome suggestions on the remaining six!) and I've abandoned the superhero treasure hunts. I'm trying to embrace the idea that doing fifty "right" things is better than doing the fifty things I first documented.

2. actively plan. like those doctor appointments. reviewing the list last week prompted me to schedule the physical (and think about the eye exam :-)

3. loving photo-a-day. I have a set on flickr and a feed on instagram. I think this is definitely a habit to keep.

4. also loving the new routines for a monthly charity hat, healthy recipes and quick breads.

5. still need routines for random acts of kindness, strength training and manicures.

6. not sure when I'm going to knit through those WIPs, but I haven't abandoned the idea!

7. or get back into needlepoint? (or organize the pre-2003 photos or clean out the guest room). see #2 above!

8. starting project life as a way to document. my binder and page protectors arrived yesterday and I have time planned next week to dig in and start.

9. glad there are still 234 days to go.

10. and I need to make each one of them count.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the 2012 2-day begins.

2012 2-day kickoff
...with an orientation at maggiano's in buckhead, followed by a three mile training walk. the fun started at 7:30 am; it was cloudy dark when I walked into maggiano's. but by 9 am, when we went back outside to start the training walk, it was blue sunshine.
2012 2-day kickoff

2012 2-day kickoff
I'm taking this as the best of good omens (a sunflare always makes me happy!) for this year's walk - my 6th and karen's 7th - and the 10th anniversary for the walk itself.

and while today's three miles was a piece of cake - and the crew did their always fabulous job cheering us on, I was glad I didn't have to repeat the course NINE more times to make the 30 miles we'll walk in october!

Friday, March 23, 2012

baking bread with sara.

...another item on my fifty for 50 list done - thanks to sara! baking bread has intimidated me for years, but it's something I've always wanted to do. sara found a super-easy recipe on smitten kitchen. and we did it.


1. the ingredients (plus water); 2. the dough, after about 18 hours of resting at room temperature; 3. a quick mix; 4. resting; 5. into a pre-heated, covered pan for baking; 6. bread!!!

everything that deb said about the bread is true (and we used two hands to handle the heavy hot pot!). we sliced it for sandwiches (pesto mayonnaise, turkey bacon, avocado, tomato and lettuce) and it was delicious.

I will definitely make this again, maybe with some whole wheat flour. thank you sara for pushing me to do this!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

texture tuesday. black and white.

...no ten on tuesday prompt today (poor carole is under the weather... please join me in wishing her a speedy recovery!) so - since I haven't played around in photoshop - or used one of kim's lovely textures in way too long, I decided to link up with kim classen for texture tuesday. today's theme is black and white.

I started with a february photo of the roses marc gave me for valentine's day. I took the photo with my iphone, not in very good light, so it's plenty grainy. love that for black and white.

going with the valentine's day theme, I add kim's texture madlove. desaturated. overlay blend mode. done!

kimklassencafe
click here if you want more info on texture tuesdays, or to join in the fun!

Monday, March 19, 2012

ella progress.

...(finally?!) yes! the end is near. I spent most of my knitting time today with a darning needle in my hand...seaming the sleeves and then setting them into the armholes. I am very pleased with my sleeve math; it did take me two tries, but it was worth the effort. the sleeves fit great.
ella progress
ha! I added a note on my flickr page about the pill-like looking bits on the sweater...but now that I see the photo here, I'm pretty sure those bits are on the mirror, not my sweater. whew.
and wow, has it really been nearly two months since I started this project? yep, we began our KAL on january 20...and I've knitted about 4,000 yards of other projects since then. maybe that's why it's taking so long!
ella progress
oops a bit blurry... but you can still see the fabulous colors in the ruffles!
monogamous knitting does pay off, though, and now all I have left is the button bands, weaving in about a bazillion ends (very thankful I didn't knit stripes - oh my!) and blocking.

I saw a weather forecast toward the end of last week that promised wet 60-degree temperatures this weekend and I was pumped to finish so I could wear. sadly, that forecast has disappeared and there is nothing much below 70 degrees in our near future. thank goodness the yarn shop is well air-conditioned. because I will be wearing this once it's finsihed!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

pink and green.

...the 2012 edition. I think this is going to become an annual tradition because it's perfect to track how early/late the spring colors show up in my yard. last year, I took similar photos on march 22...and honestly, that's just a week away. so maybe spring isn't really coming as early this year as I think it is!

without further ado - from my yard, at lunchtime today - enjoy! (I certainly did!!)
rose of sharon
rose of sharon (inspired by kathy to try the macro shot - thank you for the push, I think it works great!)
lorapetulum
lorapetulum (did you know you can click on the photos to (maybe) see a bit more description in flickr)
snowball viburnum
snowball vibirnum
redbud
the red bud, mostly blooming now... isn't it cool how the colors show up in the background, too?
rhodie buds
rhodie buds - I can almost feel their potential....
the azaleas are also going strong...but that photo wasn't so good.

hope you're seeing signs of spring where you live, too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

10 songs for a great mood.

...I'm going to make this one short and sweet. I have only ten more stitches to finish the bind-off on my winnowing shawl. I'd be in the greatest of great moods to get it blocked before work today!!
the album cover flow for this playlist

1. summer, highland falls. billy joel. this is probably my favorite sound. period. it brings back happy memories. it always makes me smile.

2. just to see you smile. tim mcgraw. the default ring tone on my phone.

3. I run to you. lady antebellum. marc's ringtone.

4. here comes the sun. the beatles. I'll bet this on a few lists today!

5. hell on the heart. eric church. katie's ringtone. memories of paris. and her teaching me to love country music.

6. days like this. van morrison. another favorite. and a reminder that even days like this are good ones.

7. can't help falling in love. andrea bocelli, featuring katherine mcphee. this one probably works best if you are in love. count myself lucky on that score.

8. autumn. vivaldi's four seasons. no lyrics, just music. upbeat and beautiful.

9. amazing grace. chris tomlin. this one gets a lot of playtime in my car...I love to sing along.

10. ain't no mountain high enough. marvin gaye & tammi terrell. ditto the sing along. even better if you have a microphone (don't you love that scene from stepmom).

thanks, carole, for another fun topic!
click here to join the ten on tuesday fun!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

currents.

116:365 red bud (finally).
...I've been waiting days to see a blossom on the redbuds in my backyard. and finally today, a few appeared. I was sure the warm sunshine we've enjoyed these past few days would do it. not maybe as quickly as I'd hoped (and why do I wish away the time I spend in anticipation of something so delightful....do you find yourself doing this, too? can we stop?!) in any event, it seems the perfect time to capture currents.


listening - birds (and holly barking at the birds). it sounds like spring!


wearing - flip flops! only to walk holly in the evenings. but still, it's a big step toward summer!

reading - franklin and winston. and enjoying it! I haven't read a non-fiction book...since I can remember. this is for my april bookclub and I'm glad I have it in paperback so I can pass it along to my parents when I'm done.

weather - forecasted high 70's this week, with rain. who cares. I'd much rather have warm rain than anything else!

knitting - the last few edging repeats on winnowing, the ella coat skirt and...honestly... that's it. I have the rill scarf and my march charity hat on the needles, but they're not getting much of my attention.

crushing - francis. (and the new ipad and iphone)

wanting - to see sara. next saturday. spring break :-)

needing - to get adjusted to daylight savings time.

thankful - daylight savings time here means a 12-hour time difference (instead of 13) to connect with marc in asia. my brain wraps around that 12 hours difference way easier!
enjoying - knitting. with my girls.

looking forward - two road trips with my sister (both to visit my mom and dad). she makes everything fun. and she knits. I'm blessed!

wondering - when I'll see katie next...

shine - I've offered to lead my PW circle next year. I think they're going to let me!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

cranberry oatmeal scones.

...quick bread #2 on my fifty for 50 list (I need to pick up the pace!)
113:365 cranberry oatmeal scones.

this time it was scones to share with martha and kathy who came over this morning to knit. and hold holly. and chit chat about books, summer plans, photography (and knitting!).

sara is great for tracking down recipes. when I emailed her that I wanted to bake oatmeal raisin scones, she responded right back with a few suggestions. I selected this recipe because it looked easy and sort of healthy (with the yogurt and only one one third cup of sugar...isn't it funny how our "healthy" test accommodates baking?!)

it was easy. these ingredients were assembled, baked and cooled in about an hour.
(during which time I realized the white balance setting on my camera was for shade, outside. apologies for the wonky colors!)
perfect! really, they are exactly what I love in a scone. flaky, with just a bit of crumb, buttery (yeah, two tablespoons per scone, they should be right?), and flavorful. I'm glad I didn't give in to the temptation to make them spicy. really, the cranberries, nuts and yogurt are all the accompaniments that sweet butter needs!

I followed the recipe, with these changes: substituted dried cranberries for the currants; folded in the chopped nuts and the cranberries after I incorporated the liquid ingredients (near the end of step 3); put the dough directly onto a parchment lined baking sheet (sprinkled with all the reserved toasted oats) to pat into a circle; spread the 8 wedges ever so slightly apart before baking so they'd brown all around.

I love the food processor technique and the "makes 8" quantity. I can see cheddar jalapeno scones (without the sugar), or apple, or blueberry!!!, or .... I'm sure sara will have some ideas!  which is good because I have ten more quick breads to bake in the next 250 days!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

10 things in my purse.

...as fun as it's going to be to peek inside everyone else's purse today, I also enjoyed looking back on this post, from a few years back, to see how the contents of my own purse have changed. still coach, but now much smaller, because I tuck it into my knitting bag - and those bags change depending on my plans for the  day and what I'm knitting.

this purse is only 7 inches wide and 5 inches tall (it might appear larger on your computer screen than it is in real life!), but with careful packing, it holds a lot!

1. driver's license and credit card (with a receipt from my latest yarn purchase).
2. reading glasses.
3. cell phone.
4. a little bit of cash (no coins).
5. hand lotion.
6. car key.
7. gum.
8. a nail file.
9. hand sanitizer.
10. bobbi brown lip stuff, including lip balm (love this stuff - it's also a great cuticle softener), vintage rose lipstick (ugh, apparently discontinued!) and three glosses (I know this is a bit excessive and I keep meaning to pare down, but then I'll need one of the colors I was going to eliminate...and I decide that as long as they fit, why not! the current rotation includes kir sugar, pink sugar and naked plum)
...and a few more things...

can't wait to see what everyone else spills. thanks, carole, for another fun topic!
click here to join the ten on tuesday fun!

Monday, March 5, 2012

february in photos.

...I've seen a few blog posts sharing the month in photos, and now that I'm back to taking a photo each day, I think I will too!
here's the whole set on flickr
I did the photo-a-day thing back in 2009 and love looking back over those images. pictures tell such a great story!

and what do the photos I chose say about my february?

I knitted. took near-daily walks in the park. enjoyed sunshine and clouds as winter started turning to spring. cooked a bit. celebrated. and loved.

yep, that's the way I remember it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

shine. photos and one little action.

...february's prompt is a photo collage.  it really helps that I'm taking a photo a day (and that I have three cameras to use!) so I had plenty to choose from. here are the ones that told my "shine" story last month.
the steeple at church shining against the bright february sky (I took this photo on february 1; loved starting out the month with this image); starbucks love; an early morning rainbow; my saturday lace class; welcoming marc home on valentine's day; valentine's day roses; lights shining at summerour (the venue for katie's wedding); prayer shawl signup at last week's ministry fair (I collected six new names!); month of letters (serendipity to have a great way to connect and share with so many people).

...and now it's on to march. march's prompt is to take one little action.

this year, I am inviting grace, giving, serving others, spiritual growth, sharing, joy and peace. my one little action is to volunteer (along with other women from my church) at the foster cares support distribution center. I've wanted to do this for a while, but it's a tuesday morning and that's when I work. last sunday it occurred to me I could probably switch shifts - it's just one day a month. so I signed up. now I have to make it happen. because I really want to see where this takes me.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

hello march.


...warmer, longer days (hopefully filled with sunshine, just like today!)...brighter colors...colors in the landscape...catching up on one little word...more letters...wedding plans...a visit from sara and a visit to florida to see my parents...lunches out with friends...knitting...reading...I can't wait to get started!