Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saturday Morning.

...Lauren and I walked at the park this morning. Not Dark Early, just early. With sunrise coming close to 7:45 am, it's been a few weeks since we've walked the trail. I was worried all the rain might've spoiled the fall colors, but there are still plenty of leaves, and the color is beautiful. There was a quiet calm around us this morning and we agreed the overcast sky, just turning to daylight was a lovely backdrop. This is one of our favorite spots - there's a bend in the path and if you walk slowly, you can hear the brook singing...ever so softly.

It was the best way to begin the day. (and I'm not gonna lie that a quiet hour in the early afternoon is also a nice way to segue to the craziness that might be coming later!)

Wishing everyone a wonderful - and SAFE - Halloween!

 

Friday, October 30, 2015

FO Friday | Inscribe.

...it took almost two months, but I think it was worth it!

This is Inscribe (raveled here), from the Shibui FW15 collection, designed by Shellie Anderson. I knit this for the shop; but it's my size, so I get to wear it!


It was an enjoyable - Size 9 needles. Shibui Maai and Staccato held together (pretty much heaven). well-written pattern with just enough details - knit. I even learned a new cast-on (it's called "Channel Island" and I love how it looks like a picot...without all the tedious casting on and binding off and counting that a picot cast-on entails).



The textured pattern was easy to knit - and I love the detail that one of the sleeves is patterned, but the other is straight stockinette (I didn't actually notice that until I started knitting the sleeves!)

A lot of the two months was waiting - first for another skien of Staccato (had to order it), then for seaming, then for picking up the stitches for the neckband, and the last five days...for weaving in ends (y'all know how I feel about that!) A more dedicated knitter (who doesn't share my mixed emotions about finishing) could probably knit this in a few weeks, easily.


I do love the finished piece. The deep V isn't hard to wear and the shoulder seams and picked up edge around the neck keep the piece in place.

And I love taking FO photos with Katie. She always brings out my very best smiles!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Currents | October 2015.

from last Thursday's afternoon walk #blueskyblooms #nofilter
Remembering last Thursday's gorgeous bright blue skies. We've had a week of gray skies and rain...but the sun will hopefully be back for the weekend.

Embracing fall. and the start of the "getting cozy" season. and

Dreading, less than usual, the accompanying lack of daylight.

Eating carrots, almonds and sharp cheddar cheese.

Reading Brown Girl Dreaming with my eyes and Career of Evil with  my ears. The former is taking a while because I've fallen asleep almost immediately the last few nights, while the latter is pretty much consuming me. It's dark and twisted (way more than anything I usually read or watch), but oh so good!

Listening to Apple Music. I'm still doing my 3-month free trial, but expect I'll cancel my car's XM subscription to keep Apple.

Watching Homeland. This is my favorite season so far, and not just because it's a free pass to talk to Sara every Monday evening!

Enjoying knitting. I haven't shared much here about what I'm doing, but there have been several FO's in the last week and I am eagerly planning my next few projects.

Looking forward to two upcoming bible studies (Thanksgiving and Advent) that Katie and I will be doing together.

Letting go of the idea I'll have a finished quilt top...or even a second finished log cabin square to share soon. (and thank you everyone who guessed on last week's post - my square is the neutral one with the pop of color in the middle of the right hand row!) I might get some concentrated sewing time next week...but otherwise November is looking really busy.

Needing a keratin treatment. My frizzy curls are driving me crazy!

Wondering  just how NaBloPoMo is going to come off.

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


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Words in the Wild.

...truth from Cast-on Cottage.
and, I might add, a good hairdresser. as well as (on some days, anyway) wine!

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | Daily Blogging.

...tips and topics. I suggested this week's list, hoping to learn from y'all. Because Sunday marks my third attempt at NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month for the not-so-crazy people who might be reading this and not realize that there a lot of people who try to post on their blogs every single day in November). My first attempt was in 2011 - I had a long string of days and then B-A-M, November 29...and nothing. I did manage a November 30 post, but after missing the 29th, well.... Last year, I tried again, but got a late start (as in I didn't realize the "thing" was still a thing until I caught up on my feed reader Monday and realized I'd already missed two days.) I managed 28 more posts, though. So this year, I think, will be the year I manage to start and finish and cover all those days in between. with a lot of support from y'all! so huge thanks to Carole for hosting this week's list!

I'm pretty sure one of the tips will be writing in advance. I've done that a handful of times, but only a handful. When I started blogging in 2007, Blogger didn't support "scheduling", so I wrote and published and ... that's my habit. Plus, Tuesdays with Charlie wouldn't be "with Charlie" if I wrote them on Monday (or Sunday?).

Because today had this

and then this (shortly after which if I was really a dedicated blogger I'd have been writing this post?)

but the nap was short-lived. and we had more of that "shared nap" that I posted about last week....and then Charlie & I went to the church for our monthly Prayer Shawl Ministry meeting, I dropped him back at Katie's and went to the visitation for a friend who died of cancer...just past her 60th birthday. The day got away from me - not only in time, but also emotions. All of which is just a long way of saying - it's nearly 8pm and I'm still on the first draft of today's post!

1. take a lot of photos. photos spark stories. and blogs are really just stories.

2. be ok with posting "just" a photo - without or with just a few words.

3. embrace the meme - Ten on Tuesday, Wordless or Words in the Wild or One Word or WIPs Wednesday, Thankful (especially appropriate in November) or Throwback Thursday, Eye Candy or Five Things or FO Friday.

4. make a plan. I think this is really about spreading out the stories. at the beginning of each week, I think about the stories I have (or hope to have) to tell and when they'll fit with the time I have to blog.( sometimes this works.)

5. steal from others imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. there are a lot of really fabulous bloggers out there. when they post about a topic that inspires you, post about it yourself. but be sure to credit the idea back to them.

6. share "older" stories.

7. and truly mundane ones. am I the only one who has a "blogger" voice in my head as I walk through the aisles at Costco and wonder...

8. share recipes.

9. and books. I love hearing about both. not only what you love but also (although maybe not in quite so much detail) what you didn't.

10. just do it. at the end of the day (or really the month), I'd like to look back and see a good story... with photos and words to remind me what we did ... what mattered and what maybe didn't ... but what it was like this November.

I can't wait to see what ideas y'all have to share!

and if you're not already playing along with Carole and her Ten on Tuesday fun, you should be! click here to join!

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

New Traditions.


...I shared this photo on Instagram last week with the comment:
my November Southern Living arrived today. full of new recipes and ideas for Thanksgiving. and I realize (not for the first time) that I have no room in my plans for new ideas.
Everyone mostly agreed with me, except apparently Katie, who will be hosting our family for the first time this year, so gets the biggest vote!

Our menu has evolved over the years, but it looks like it's going to get a big makeover this year.
We want to balance healthy with "special" and neither of us wants to spend too much time cooking. Especially since Sara won't be arriving until Thursday morning and I'll be driving to the airport instead of cooking a turkey!

the latest Southern Living magazine...that started the whole thing!
We definitely need roasted vegetables (Sara's favorite), at least one thing "green" (my requirement), butternut squash macaroni and cheese (Katie's request), pie (preferably pumpkin, pecan and apple - but yikes! there are only five adults) and homemade rum raisin ice cream (my favorite). Thank goodness Rob and Marc are easy (as long as there's plenty to eat!) Katie and I discussed options while she flipped through the latest Southern Living. Happy to report - we found some great new recipes!

especially these two:
roasted vegetable salad - completely make ahead, too 
pumpkin pecan pie - combines two favorites into one pie
Here's what we've tentatively planned. Katie's still researching stuffing. Turns out she's not a fan of the Pepperidge Farm stuffing I've made forever (who knew?!) She says she wants something rustic with herbs and garlic. Suggestions welcome.

roasted turkey breast and gravy
cranberry sauce
applesauce
(new) stuffing
butternut squash macaroni and cheese
(new) roasted vegetable salad
apple pie
(new) pumpkin pecan pie
rum raisin ice cream

I have to say, I'm really looking forward to the day, the dinner, and whatever new traditions we make. Our family is going to be together...and that's really the only part that matters. (well, that, and the rum raisin ice cream ;-)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Can You Guess.

...which square is mine*?

That square, and 11 more sets of strips (I finished all the cutting), is my big accomplishment from Sunday's Log Cabin in a Day class.

I was the only newbie in the room...which did make me feel a little better that my "progress" was so slow. And it didn't help that I left the power cord for my sewing machine plugged into the wall in my craft room. The shop had a machine for me to use, but it didn't have a 1/4" foot and my attempts to eyeball one were not very good. So I stopped with the one finished square and spent the last hour oohing and ahhing over the samples on display and the fabrics... planning my next few quilts in my head!

*I'd love to hear your guess - leave it in the comments and I'll share the answer - hopefully via another finished square! - next week!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, full of "progress" and wherever that might take you.

 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Throwback Thursday | Bright Blue Weather.

from yesterday's morning walk
It's a newsletter day today and - has sadly become my norm of late - I have much left to do. So a bit of a throwback - this time to last October and a poem my dad shared with me. When I saw my uncle last week we had three lovely bright blue days (and not even much humidity) and he told me he remembered singing this poem and marching around and around his third grade classroom. Somehow his teacher managed to have a piano in her room. He said he never quite knew how she managed that. But a classroom full of singing children is certainly better than a classroom full of screaming ones!

October’s Bright Blue Weather
O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather;
When loud the bumble-bee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And Golden-Rod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;
When Gentians roll their fringes tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;
When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;
When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;
When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;
When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October’s bright blue weather.
O suns and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October’s bright blue weather.

Wishing you a bright blue day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | Traveling Light.

...today's topic is about packing our carry-on bags. Carole called it a "travel tote bag". I no longer consider myself an expert traveler, and I'm certainly not an expert flyer. So I asked Marc to weigh in. He's headed to Toronto dark early tomorrow morning and - hopefully - he'll be home tomorrow night. That's expert in my book!

His "carry-on" is his regular work backpack. No matter if he's traveling to the airport or to his office, he packs:

1. passport

2. reading glasses (these have a special place, just below the handle and he tells me he never takes them out unless he's really "traveling")

3. phone & charger

4. keys

5. laptop & charger (if he'll be gone more than one night, he says he'll also take his iPad)

6. moleskine notebook, a pencil and a pen

7. protein bar

8. headphones

9. business cards

10. a "ditty bag" that could be a Ten on Tuesday all by itself. I don't think there's anything embarrassing or illegal here ... I must admit I was impressed by the variety of tea bags (and pills)!
1. chapstick 2. cough drops 3. cold meds 4. earplugs 5. tissues 6. tea bags 7. altoids 8. eye mask 9. hand wipes 10. gum
He keeps his wallet (cash, drivers license and credit cards) in a pocket. As he walked me through all the things...in all their places...I had memories of myself all those years ago (I wasn't sad...more like amazed how I ever managed!). I guess it's good he's not a knitter, because he'd have no place for yarn and needles!

I'm looking forward to learning more about what y'all pack...if you're not already playing along, click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Another First.

...I was privileged to share another very special first with Charlie and his mama on Saturday.

Thanks to a little bit of Daniel Tiger on Katie's phone, a xylophone app on Katie's iPad, a snack pack full of crackers and a bowl full of brushes, Carla* had enough time to give Charlie his first haircut.

I'm pretty sure the only one who experienced any trauma was Katie.

And even that had faded by the time they'd finished the train ride at Avalon - another first for both of them! We're probably going to make that ride a fairly regular occurrence - he loved it! I can't wait to ride it with him...maybe tomorrow?!

*I think this was a special haircut for Carla, too. She gave Katie her first haircut, too...some 27 years ago!

 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Time Flies.

...especially when you're busy traveling and having fun. I didn't intend for a whole week to go by without sharing anything here, but it did. I spent three days this past week (yep, I even missed a Charlie Tuesday) visiting with my family in Alabama. My dad celebrated his 78th birthday on Wednesday and wanted to spend it in his hometown. My parents, my aunt and uncle (my dad's sister and brother), and a few cousins gathered for the party - which was two full days of family, food and stories. There are lots and lots of photos; but for today, I'm sharing only two.

This is my dad's family, shortly after WWII (my grandfather returned from the war in 1945). My grandmother and grandfather are on the top step; my dad, his sister Betty and brother Davis are on the bottom. The photo was taken on the front steps of my grandmother's family home in Grove Hill, Alabama.

Fast forward 70 years (wow!) and here the siblings are again on those same steps*. Left to right, that's Davis, Betty and my dad, with my cousin Becky framing her own photo.

*Becky and her husband George now own the family home. They're working to bring it into the 21st century (can't wait to have a second bathroom!) while maintaining everything that makes this house "home".

More to come. soon. I promise!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Game Day Cowl.

...my second FO from September. finished, photographed, and already worn a few times.
on Ravelry here
I bought the yarn back in 2010 intending to knit Sara something for Georgia Tech game days. It's a beautiful white and gold combination, thanks to the fantastic dyeing by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark (of the now closed Kitchen Sink Dyeworks). I found the gold at her booth at Stitches South that spring and she custom-dyed the white to match. Of course once I had the yarn, Sara didn't really want me to knit her anything for game days.

Fast forward five years and I found Kirsten Kapur's Rivington Cowl pattern. I love the stripes and the lace; it was a really fun knit...that went surprisingly quickly once I actually worked on it. This was my project for Kirsten's Summer Shawl KAL and I tore through the lace edging in one long weekend to have it finished by her September 15 deadline.
modeled on my dress form for Kirsten's FO thread
This was also my project for the Yarniacs Colors of Fall KAL (I see a lot of Oak Buff in both yarns). We had to share finished photos modeled with a fall look. Thank you to Katie for these photos!
my go-to fall outfit - black jeans, a chambray shirt...and a cowl!



On a sad note, since I finished the cowl, Georgia Tech hasn't won a game (yep, three straight losses). We play Clemson (ranked #4) tomorrow. I'll be wearing my cowl anyway!



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Looking Back | September.


...more birthdays, more toasts, more Charlie, more fall, a little reading, and even a bit of yarn and knitting, but not a single FO. At least not in this collage. I did finish two projects last month. You've seen Charlie's Fly Away, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the other one!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ten on Tuesday | Being There.


...this past weekend, Bob - a dear friend of Carole and Dale - passed away. I didn't know Bob personally; but from the posts and photos that Carole has shared over the years, I know he touched many lives...and that many are feeling a deep loss with his passing. Today, Carole has asked us to share ways we can be supportive when someone dies.

I've been thinking about this since yesterday afternoon...and...this is a hard list. What keeps coming to mind is simply "being there" which could be any or all of these things:

physically sitting in the same room - maybe talking...or maybe not (knitting is good for both) and when you're not there in person,
checking in with a phone call or an email or a text

making plans to meet at 7am to go for a walk
or 6:30pm to go out for a glass of wine (or a walk... sunset is about this time these days and that can be a very peaceful time)

being ok to just be, without talking,
or recognizing it's a time to talk (which means for me, a time to listen).
or maybe it's a time to tell stories - to remind them how he lived...and how much he was loved.

writing a note so they have mail to pickup. and read. being sure to mention one specific thing you knew or loved about him.

bringing a meal. yay for comfort food, and leftovers, and taking care of all the family and friends that aren't normally there...but must be fed. (but recognizing when too much food is simply too much - my girlfriend's husband died last March and she felt inundated with food...but welcomed twice-weekly deliveries of "salad lunches" for her and her sister-in-law - the perfect amount of food for two...ladies).

staying close and being flexible. grief is different for everyone. and for those who grieve, grief is different every day.

My heart goes out to Carole and Dale and to Bob's family and friends. Wishing them all God's peace.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hello October!

morning journal time...love this month's calendar photo - hard to believe Charlie was that little just a year ago!
...finally! Limited sunshine, too much rain and what felt like it might be a cold but was maybe just allergies and today is the first day of this new month - my favorite! - that really feels like OCTOBER. Here are a few things I'm ready to give a warm welcome:

  • Birthday Season - beginning next week, we'll celebrate five family birthdays in five weeks.
  • Sweater Weather, and wearing jeans and boots (or ballet flats).
  • Slow cooker meals. I made chicken soup with couscous on Saturday. Marc says it reminds him of chicken and dumplings (which is, I think, a compliment!)
  • Crisp morning walks, crunching on leaves.
  • College football weekends (even when our team doesn't win, it's still a great reason on knit!)
  • The return of Homeland. This is the only show I'm going to watch all year ... in real time. Which I'm loosely interpreting to mean "Monday afternoons"; I'll be watching last night's season premier (YAY for our DVR working again!) just as soon as I press Publish on this post!

What about you - what are you welcoming this month?