Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | Home.

This week, Carole's invited us to share ten things we love about our home. Shortly after I picked up the prompt, I read this:
...then she'd walk from room to room in a small private ritual* she had, something she did whenever she'd been traveling. She'd touch all the things she loved the most, the objects and pictures and mementos that made this house her home, the one place on earth where she truly belonged and that belonged to her. (from Debbie Macomber's A Turn in the Road)
As I prepare for tomorrow's trip, the timing couldn't be better! (and a post that's long on photos and short on words is welcome, too!)  Here goes:

1. the front door. I love that it's a big window and you can see through all the way to the porch and the trees behind. and it faces west, so evening sunset reflections can be very cool.

2. the screened porch. it faces east. nothing better for a morning person than a front-row seat for sunrises.

3. just off to the left as you enter the front door is my study. this little vignette is on the corner of my desk. I love every piece of it...and the memories and emotions each evoke.

4. this is the path to the lower level. where all of Marc's stuff "lives". I love that he has his own space (that I don't have to see or clean...very often). That painting is of Katie/by Katie from a fabulous middle school art class.

5. the space where I live (almost) all the time. I love it all!

6. and this little corner (which is just to the left of the photo above)... a "shrine" to 32 years of marriage (I made the photo collage and Marc likes to bring home "pairs" from his Asia trips). a much-simplified cookbook collection. Georgia Tech (of course). and a reminder of last year's OLW.

7. and now upstairs. the bookshelves in my "office". my yarn stash (well, most of it anyway ;-), my favorite books and photographs and OLW's... altogether with my desk, swift & ball winder, laptop, printer... this is where I'm sitting now as I type this post. I have to say, I never dreamed I'd share an office with so much yarn-y stuff, but it's good...very good!

8. the 360 degree mirror in my bathroom. I took a photo of this the first time I saw the house. love at first sight!

9. a sitting room in our bedroom. the windows face east and the light is bright in the morning and not so much in the evening. (just like me!) I love to read and knit in those chairs. (yeah, I don't have a favorite - is that weird?!) the space is calm and serene....

10. except when Charlie's here! turns out our bedroom is the easiest place to entertain him. he can't get into too much trouble and there's lots of room for toys and exploring. (and nope, no walking today - he definitely walked along the windows, and the chairs, and the dressers... but nothing on his own!)

Thank you, Carole, for another delightful week. If you're not already playing along, click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!

*Of course my ritual isn't like the one Debbie describes. I run to the bathroom...then walk Holly, unload the car, pour a glass of wine, and chill at my kitchen counter spot (emails, blogs, Ravelry, Instagram) until bedtime. when I'm forced to carry bags upstairs and unpack. Honestly, I think I like Debbie's better. And I just might try it on Monday!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Currents | June 2015.

from yesterday's morning walk
Loving: Cooler mornings. It was in the low 60's yesterday. Holly and I enjoyed a long walk, our first since early May.

Hoping: I can stick with my daily step and yoga routines. I've managed both 10,000 steps and at least 15 minutes of yoga every day this month. It's starting to feel like a habit.

Reading: Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter on CD (which means only in my car - it's going slow) and Penelope Lively's Consequences as a real book. Both borrowed from the library and neither for a reading challenge!

Watching: Still not much. But Marc and I have seen a few episodes of Grantchester (DVR'd months ago) and we're both enjoying it.

Knitting: A little bit. yay! I'm managing to keep up with the Through the Loops Mystery Shawl (loving the lace and the Ivory Shibui Staccato I'm using). and feeling a bit of startitis coming on. I cast on a new shawl Saturday and have plans to start a sweater and socks on my trip.

Planning: All the knits! I'm still not able to knit more than a few stitches at a time, and I'm only using "big-ish" needles and mostly wool yarn, but there's a lot I can do within those parameters.

Working on: New routines to make the most of the Get to Work Book. The planner officially begins July 1, but there's a weekly spread that starts today. I haven't written the first thing on that spread...but I will. soon!

Wearing: Linen t-shirts and shorts.

Splurging: On a new Atenti bag, just in time for my trip and all the knitting I'm planning!

Drinking: Water. (yes, really!)

Eating: (still) Berries with greek yogurt and walnuts.

Wondering: If tomorrow might be the day I see Charlie take his first steps. He's close!

Remembering: To be present. to treasure the doing as much (if not more than) the getting done.

Anticipating: Six days in Madison with Sara (I leave Wednesday afternoon).

How about you - what's current in your world?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My (favorite) Dad.

...I'm going rogue for Ten on Tuesday today. Carole asked us to share our ten favorite TV dads; while I was struggling to come up with even one or two (BJ from M*A*S*H?, Sandy from the O.C.?) from the make-believe world, I had no trouble thinking up ten plus reasons my dad is my favorite. And I'm very fortunate that he's still around to read this post!  So I'm going to consider this a belated Father's Day card* to my dad (who is, in the best Southern way...Daddy).

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you probably know my mom was great with photos - not only taking them :-), but also writing on their backsides "who/when/where" and ultimately putting them into albums. There are multiple pages of photos that include me and my dad at the beginning of my album, but these are are the first two that show both of our faces for the camera:
Roy & Mary. one week old (puts this at about Thanksgiving, 1962)
Roy & Mary. six weeks (I'm thinking this is the week between Christmas and New Years)
Oh my, right?!

and because I know my mom will read this too and I was struck by the total 1962-ness of this photo (not to mention my mom's figure...5-1/2 weeks after giving birth!?!), I had to share it, too.
Polly, Roy, Mary. 5-1/2 weeks. Christmas. Grove Hill.
In any event - I had fun looking through the photos...and documenting just a few of the reasons my dad is my favorite. He's kind, generous, polite, smart, intelligent, willing, able, diligent, loving, committed, loyal, faithful, witty, funny, athletic, determined, strong, has integrity (what's the adjective for that?) and he has a wonderful smile!

Thank you, Carole, for prompting this belated Father's Day wish... (if you haven't joined the Ten on Tuesday fun, click here.)

*I really did send a card (and he told me he enjoyed it) and we had a lovely long talk on Sunday about all sorts of things including To Kill a Mockingbird (which I'd just finished re-reading), the Queen of England (because I was reading her biography), the recent shootings in Charleston, and how much we both enjoyed Katie's wedding (Katie and I attended a wedding Saturday night that recalled all kinds of memories). I shared this photo on Instagram - I'd shared it here the Father's Day after the wedding - it's crazy to think of all that happened in the 50 years between this photo and ones above! xoxo Daddy, I love you!
with Daddy, at Katie's wedding. (photo credit to Sara - with many many thanks!)

Monday, June 22, 2015

the Knitting Tale of the 23rd Journal.


...continuing a tradition I began years ago and re-kindled back in January, I'm sharing the knitting story of my latest journal. This journal began on January 26 and ended today, covering almost five months. In that time I completed 17 projects including six from stash and nine for other people and used 7,439 yards of yarn. I've been knitting v e r y  s l o w l y these last seven weeks, so those yards were pretty much all worked in about three months...hence a knitting injury!

I am delighted with all the colors this time: blues, pink, green, red, orange (!!) and yellow in addition to the usual browns, grays and creams. And not all of that color was for others - the pink and orange are mine!

June might be the first month since I can remember that I won't have anything finished. (I can only hope July won't turn that into a streak!) And I'm taking a different approach to documentation starting next month. The Get To Work Book has numerous project pages and I'm going to use them to document the cast-on and finishing of each project, but there's no band to tie on the bits of yarn. So - much TBD about future knitting tales.

As I type this, I wonder if maybe this will finally push me to blog about each of my FO's as they happen... curious - do you?


Friday, June 19, 2015

Eye Candy Friday.

...borrowing Carole's favorite Friday topic.

An Aperol Spritz is a pretty perfect way to begin the weekend. Enjoy!

 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Newsletter Thursday.

...yep, it's a newsletter day and yep, I still have a good bit of work to do. So I saved a bit of Tuesday and a bit of knitting to share here. very quickly!

 

This is all the knitting I've managed in a whole week. Yeah, at this rate, it's a very good thing I started so early. There are still 14 squares (and a lot of seams) to go. I hope I can finish before Charlie's birthday! The light blue yarn at the bottom is my new choice for the "pop" color. I think it goes better with the grays (compared with the Forget Me Not blue at the top). What do you think?

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday | Summer Sunshine.

...truly a glass half-full version of our crazy heatwave (another day of 97 degrees in the shade!) My sister's Annabelle hydrangea...and a true blue sky studded with puffy white clouds.

Believe it or not, next week is supposed to be even hotter. I might not have outdoor photos to share!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | On My Bucket List.

...for this summer. Today, Carole's asked us to share items on our Summer 2015 lists. Even though the season doesn't officially start until next week, school around here ends before Memorial Day. That means we are into our fourth week of summer, which seems about right since it was 97 degrees this afternoon. in the shade. I'm not complaining ;-), but I'm very grateful for air conditioning. And I'm very much in the mood to talk about summer!

1. Get to a farmers' market, hopefully here and in Madison.

2. Make bread salad.

3. and caprese salad. (and eat them with someone who loves them as much as I do. this would not be Marc.)

4. Find the perfect Italian white wine for summer sipping.

5. Go on a picnic.

6. Watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

7. Dance.

8. Try bourbon.

9. Read Go Set a Watchman (or maybe listen to Reese Witherspoon read it out loud).

10. Watch the final season of Mad Men. (and hopefully...love it!)

Can't wait to see what fun the rest of you have planned for the next three months! If you're not already playing along, you can click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Simply Knitting.

...there's nothing like not being able to do something to make you really appreciate how much you love it. These last five weeks - one without knitting and then four with it very limited have driven home that point for me. So I'm especially pleased that I have actual knitting to share here! Three projects - one finished, one in progress, and one just begun. Simple knits all of them, but that's ok with me. It's knitting nonetheless.

First, the finished project. I've had this done for a few weeks (I've even worn it once) but finally got the photos up. It's one of my favorite patterns, the Churchmouse Bias 'Before & After' Scarf, knit in Spud&Chloe Fine.
raveled here
Unblocked, the stitches were wonky and uneven and told the story of my elbow better than any pain report. Yay for the miracle of blocking!

In progress, now just past the one-third mark is the Tokyo Shawl. I bought the kit a while back thinking I'd work on it in the fall. Miles of wool and alpaca isn't typically what I knit during the hot summer months. ...until now :-)  For being just a big ol' stockinette/reverse stockinette rectangle, it's pretty fun. Yesterday's milestone was finally getting to add in the last color from the kit.

Turns out size 7 straights are my favorite needles right now. So it seemed like the perfect time to start the blanket I'm planning for Charlie's first birthday. It's Fly Away, part of Tincanknits' newest Max & Bohdi's Wardrobe collection. I loved the look of the pattern, but wasn't sure I was going to love knitting sixteen garter stitch squares, with stripes (I hate weaving in ends!). ...until now :-)

The main color is the cream, with three grays and a "pop". I'm still not certain about that "pop", especially when I entered it into Ravelry and saw it's named "forget me not". Maybe an orange-ish brown? or a golden yellow? (gray and yellow is one of my favorite color combinations) or a lighter, more sky-like blue? (can sky blue be a "pop" color?) Welcome your thoughts!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, full of simple pleasures!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday | Green.

looking up. the oak tree in our front yard.
Green
It is a green world,
lush and damp, drops
of water poised on
grass blades, some
leaves large as dinner
plates. To describe
the scene, I need more 
words for green. There
must be tropical tongues,
words sprouting from
the depths of rain
forests, languages rich
with more verdant
imagery than English.
It is green world,
chartreuse, jade,
and olive mix in
the vista like 
tossed salad;
cucumber, emerald,
lime, the deep
satisfying green
of pea vines,
the blue-green
of pines in shadow,
the pale green of 
early applies
favorited by the 
deer. Green was
the first thought
I had this morning
when I opened my
eyes, and looked outside.

- Danna Faulds

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | In Other Words.

...today, Carole asked us to share words we use in place of the words we shouldn't use. I came to the whole "clean language" thing relatively late in life and found it was easier to simply go cold turkey than to find substitutes. That's not to say no four-letter word ever crosses my lips, but I really have no list to share. So I found a different angle.

Last night I finished Lumberjanes, Volume One. It's the first comic book I've read and I'm very grateful to the girls at Bookriot and to Summer Bingo for suggesting it. It's completely delightful. and very smart. I shared this snapshot of one of the chapter openings on Instagram last night. You've gotta love a comic that celebrates girls and math; there's even a scene featuring Fibonacci numbers.

Thinking about today's topic, I re-read the book and picked out all the "expletives". Not a single one is more than G-rated. I'm even thinking I might adopt a few!

1. heckuva
2. what the junk
3. what the bejabbers
4. oh my gosh
5. good gravy
6. what the what

These last four are especially cool:
7. good Juliet Gordon Low
8. oh my Bessie Coleman
9. holy Mae Jemison
10. where the Phillis Wheatley

These are four terrific ladies - heroes all - and I'm sure they'd smile to know their names are being taken in vain!

For the rest of my Tuesday news, Charlie had a busy day here exploring every corner of my bedroom...over and over. I know it'll be a few years before he goes off to camp, but wow! these last nine months have sure flown by.

As always, if you'd like to join in the Ten on Tuesday fun, click here.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Bingo 2015 | My Plan.

...and an early progress report.

and shelved on Goodreads
Similar to last year, I have two goals:

1. Cover my card; and 
2. Read from my TBR list, especially the books I already own.

Goal #1 means 24 books. It also means I'm not planning to skip any squares, even the hard ones ("A biography of someone I dislike" and "About a subject that challenges you" ?!)

Goal #2 made the whole planning exercise essential. I figured I needed to make every book count in order to get all 24 read before Labor Day. Since they were all books I intended to read - at some point! - anyway, it was actually a lot of fun to figure out what could go where.

Here's how my plan shakes out:
  • I bought six books, including Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4), A God in Ruins and The Emperor of All Maladies on Audible. Katie and my sister share that account and I expect they'll listen to those last two. I "treated" myself to Drums of Autumn (I loved listening to the last one) ... hoping that come July/August I'll be able to knit again for hours at a time! If not, I'll be taking a lot of long walks :-)
  • I borrowed four: Orphan Train (from the library), A Christmas Visitor (from my sister), Anne of the Island (from my mom) and whatever I decide for "Borrowed from a friend".
  • The rest were already on my shelves: four actual books, six on Kindle and four on Audible.
Two of my choices are a bit atypical, I think:
  • For the biography of someone I dislike, I chose The Emperor of All Maladies. It's sub-titled "a biography of cancer", so a something, not a someone.
  • Thank you to my friend Lauren, I have The Girl on the Train for "Hated by someone you know". It's our November bookclub selection, so I needed to read it, and this way I didn't have to use up an easier square.
The only book I really wanted to read this summer that I couldn't find a home for was Go Set a Watchman, especially because I fit a much needed re-read of To Kill a Mockingbird in as "A banned book." Maybe I can convince one of my friends to buy it - in hardcopy - so I can borrow it.

And now the progress report. I've finished six books and - beginning as I mean to go on - every one of them has been enjoyable. The highlights so far have been The Cuckoo's Calling (I skipped church last Sunday to finish it!) and The Boys in the Boat. I just finished Boys this morning and it's one of my favorite books of the year. Thank goodness it's our June bookclub selection so I'll be able to talk about it soon! Orphan Train is ready at the library, so that will be next, along with Frances and Bernard.

How about you? what are you excited to read this summer?

Click here to read my first post about this year's bingo and here to read last year's summary. If you're playing along, I hope you're off to a great start, too! Labor Day is almost three months away; you've got plenty of time to join in.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Looking Back | May.


...these collages never fail to delight me! May was full of flowers, books and reading (and planning about more reading), getting outside ... and people! As always, Charlie features prominently (six photos), but there's my dad (twice) and my mom, my brother, Katie (twice) ... and me (three times!)

There isn't much knitting. though. Charlie's new blanket made its FO appearance on the 5th and the only WIP is that pink scarf on the 9th and 27th. I'm hoping June will be a little different, at least by month's end.

If you're reading this post in a reader, you might not notice that I updated the blog banner and colors this morning. It's full-on summer outside and I'm happy to welcome the new season here, too.

Wishing you the best of weekends!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Planning Fall Knits.

...today was supposed to be a newsletter day, but our website is having issues, so we're holding off a day. I'd planned a quick post for today and saved a photo from Tuesday to share. Don't you love those blond (!!!) curls?!

And now that I have a little more time, I thought I'd share two of the knits I'm planning for fall. Completely inspired by The Yarniacs Podcast's Pantone Colors Fall knit-along ... and this gorgeous palette.
you can read more about the fall palette here

We cast on after the Summer Solstice (June 21) and finish by the Autumnal Equinox (September 23). Any project that incorporates a color (or colors) from the Pantone palette is eligible.


First up, I have three balls of Rowan Fine Lace (acquired a few months back) for another Color Affection. I originally bought the top ball (in a Marsala-like colorway) to knit a one-tone Two-tone Twill Scarf. Yeah, that was an epic idea...I finally admitted defeat, frogged it, and bought the other two balls. Seeing them again, I think the bottom ball is Amethyst Orchid, so double win!



Next, I have three balls of Shibui Staccato that I'll use for another 3 Color Cashmere Cowl. The navy (Shibui Suit) and red (Shibui Brick) are re-claimed from my recently frogged Crackerjack Cowl (turns out knitting tennis elbow and 16" circulars don't play well together). Yesterday I picked up the gold (Shibui Flaxen). The navy is Reflecting Pond and the gold is Oak Buff. I haven't decided how to place the colors in the cowl - suggestions welcome!

The final requirement for the KAL is that we post a photo of the finished project, styled for fall. It's crazy to think about fall in early June... but I need some ideas. Otherwise I'll end up with jeans, boots and a chambray shirt (just like last year!) What do you think?

The Yarniacs knit-alongs are always fun; their forum on Ravelry is busy and welcoming. Are you going to join? I'd love some (more) company!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Watercolor Wednesday | Magnolia.

...nothing says summer to me quite like magnolia. The scent is heavy on the air. The green leaves shine in the sunlight. And the cream blossoms are smooth as satin, with petals falling open softly, to reveal the palest pink.

This particular bloom arrested my senses on my last walk with Holly yesterday. I wish I could share the smell and feel with you, too! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | On the Radio.

...iTunes radio, that is. Today Carole has asked us to share the first ten songs that play on our favorite station. While Charlie ate his breakfast this morning, it was Imagine Dragons (thank you to my sister for introducing me to their music; this station is a regular at our Wednesday evening meet-ups) and here are the first ten songs I heard:

1. Demons, Imagine Dragons

2. The Scientist, Coldplay

3. Sink or Swim, Bad Lieutenant

4. Tiptoe, Imagine Dragons

5. On the Wing, Owl City

6. Home, Phillip Phillips

7. Sail, AWOLNATION (this was the only song I skipped ;-)

8. Whispers, Passenger (this one was brand new for me and I liked it!)

9. Burn, Ellie Goulding

10. Dog Days are Over, Florence + the Machine

More than specific songs, today I'm hoping to get pointers on which stations I might like to try. And on which platform... I have iTunes, Amazon and Spotify on my iPad. I'm sure at some point I had Pandora, but no longer. Which is your favorite?

...and as a small reward for reading all the way to the bottom, here's one of my favorites from today (apologies to my Instagram friends...you've likely seen it already!)

Click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekending.

...holy smokes, how is it Monday already? (and a new month?!) Before I dive into the new week - and physical therapy (yay! my first appointment is later this morning) - I wanted to quickly share a few of my favorite glimpses from the weekend.

Holly spent Friday morning with the groomer. I enjoyed a quiet run at the park; the trees were glistening with Thursday night's rain...peaceful and cool. And then a manicure/pedicure. Another silver lining to knitting less (and now knitting all wool) is that my fingernails are looking a lot better!

I met a friend for coffee and a long-overdue catch-up that afternoon, and then enjoyed playtime with Charlie and Katie.

Marc and I watched The Equalizer (♥ Denzel!); it was good, but whoa, violent...and without knitting, I actually watched it!

Saturday was not too hot with bright blue skies and big puffy clouds. Saturday evening we went out to dinner with a bunch of Marc's golfing buddies and their wives. It was fun to have an evening out - and an excuse for a new dress.

I spent yesterday morning listening to the last few hours of The Cuckoo's Calling. ah, I'm in love with Cormoran Strike (or maybe just his accent on the audible version?!) In the afternoon, I spent a visited my sister and helped her plan summer book bingo. One of her squares is a book published the year she was born (1967) and we were delighted that her little collection of Nancy Drew includes one. Maybe I'll borrow it for one of my squares!

We had storms roll through all afternoon. The sky was a perfect reflection of my mood. Sunday blues...and a good excuse to go to bed early!

I'm not sure the sun is really going to come out today, but at least my outlook is sunnier. Hope you had an all-around bright weekend!