Thursday, June 30, 2016

En Route.

I don't know how people who don't knit can stand to travel. This is the text exchange I had with Marc (at 1:35 ET) contemplating an almost two hour wait for my 3:20 flight.

Yep, two new projects! I started another summer cardigan while I waited. 267 stitches on size 1 needles is the kind of slow going just made for waiting in airports. Here's my progress by the time we took off. The guy next to me asked what I was making. A sweater, I replied, I have a ways to go. He smiled and said something about it being warm now so no rush. I didn't bother to tell him it's a summer sweater...short sleeves and cotton (and a very fine gauge).

for my inflight entertainment, I started a pair of Little Squirrel socks.

Happy to report my progress on size 4 needles with just 44 stitches is much faster and the cuff is now about two inches. my progress with Drums of Autumn is simply slow and steady...5-1/2 hours to go!

We landed just a few minutes late, I claimed my bag and took advantage of the empty bathroom (man, you gotta love the Madison airport - I've never been in an empty airport bathroom except for here) to snag a photo of my outfit.

Totally loving my new linen cardigan :-)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Private Book Signing.

One of my Book Bingo squares is "Written by an author you've met." I haven't actually met many authors except at book signings, where - even if I have a photo of me and the author - I'm sure those authors have no idea who I am (does it count as a "meeting" if only one of us remembers?)

My friend, Lauren, however, has met an author. She is one of Karen White's Pilates trainers. From the stories Lauren shares and from Karen's own Instagram feed, I know she's very outgoing. I thought she might enjoy the opportunity to indulge a bit of fangirl... So I asked Lauren to ask

and yesterday evening, I met Karen ... enjoying the tail end of a workout.

She was friendly, personable and fun (and can you believe how great she looks after a hard hour of Pilates?!) She asked me to tell her a little about myself; I mentioned Book Bingo and the square I was hoping to complete with our meeting.

I'm looking forward to the book - it's set in France and Apalachicola, Florida and there are bees! Sounds intriguing and certainly a welcome change after spending 45+ hours in the 1760's with Jamie and Claire!
me, Karen and Lauren (from Lauren's Instagram)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Making Me Smile.

Carole is away on vacation this week (and her Instagram feed is full of friends, fun - and good drinks - be sure to check it out!) so I'm on my own to come up with a topic for today's post. I didn't really have the idea until I'd edited and uploaded this handful of photos, looking for something that might tie them together. And yeah, long time readers won't be surprised at what I found. I'm not sure this is going to be a list of ten, but it is going to be a list...of things that are making me smile. today.

1. How much this little guy wants to do - and can do - on his own. A few months back, I had to hold his hand(s) up the stairs on this slide and then hold one hand on the way down. Not now. Once it's his turn to go, he can climb up, get his feet forward and slide down all by himself.

2. Also, we get lots of compliments on his outfits when we're out. I can't take any credit for what he's wearing (except that it's clean after 2nd breakfast and maybe a snack), and that makes me smile too.

3. The photobooth. Obviously.

4. and how great it is to be photographed with sunglasses... because it's always our eyes that spoil a photo. and with sunglasses...well, you can't see them!

5. so...this one is only making me smile now. four hours after the mess has been picked up (but also three and a half hours since we sat in the chair and read three stories and worked through a set of flashcards to avoid cleaning up "Charlie's mess" :-)

6. These roses are my new favorite shade of pink-orange. I'm not sure you can see the true color on the screen, but trust me, it's lovely. I took the photo when Holly and I were out for our evening walk, wanting to capture the color...but what I found when I opened the photo on a bigger screen was a complex mix of light and dark, age and bloom...

7. Later still... I finished the second sleeve and wove in all the ends (nap time also makes me smile)...and now this is soaking.

I also thought about listing how happy I was to hear about a few of the Supreme Court's last rulings. Honestly, even hearing they'd made a few rulings was a happy surprise, but hearing that they went my way was even better.

I hope your week is off to a happy start...and you're finding something to make you smile - especially something surprising!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Deadline Knitting.

In general (and especially since I stopped knitting Christmas gifts), I am not a deadline knitter. But this morning, I checked the latest forecast for Madison*.
Woo hoo - It's gonna be Cardigan Weather!
And set myself a deadline to finish this one before I go.

Good thing I've got an hour of TV (cannot wait to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones) and 18 more hours of Drums of Autumn to keep me company.

*yep, I'm headed up there Thursday to spend the weekend with Sara!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ten on Tuesday | Listening and ...

I think we're getting serious about Summer Book Bingo with the Ten on Tuesday crowd. Today, Carole's asked us to share things we like to do while listening to books. Listening to books, "reading with my ears", has changed the way I read. For sure, it's allowed me to read more - which is, I think, a very good thing. But it's also allowed me to experience books in new and different ways; the right narrator can engage me in a story better than that little voice inside my head (it can pronounce all the names, do an accent, speak Russian, or Spanish...and of course, English!)

And it's allowed me to multi-task. Here are a few of the things I love to do while I'm listening:
today's nap time entertainment...along with my audiobook
1. Knit (unless I'm counting or trying to figure out a pattern).

2. Walk Holly.

3. Run.

4. Drive.

5. "Watch" golf. Sometimes Marc just likes to know I'm around, ya know?!

6. Fold laundry.

7. Unload the dishwasher.

8. Clean the bathroom or the kitchen.

9. Dust (this is H-U-G-E - I hate to dust!)

10. Sit in a waiting room...when I don't want to talk to anyone. Earbuds in my ears....

I'm seven hours into a 45 hour audiobook (Drums of Autumn, for the "with a season in the title" square). Obviously any and all suggestions on what else I could be doing are gonna be most welcome - thank you in advance! (and thank you, Carole!)

If you're not already playing along, click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun.

p.s. I did that bit of listening and reading while this was going on in the other room.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Summer Weekend.

...looked this like around here.

And it all reminded me of Mary Oliver's wonderful poem, perfect for this first real summer day.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean ---
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down ---
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

- Mary Oliver (from House of Light)
I hope summer is showing her beautiful face where you are, too.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Finished | Mykonos Tee.

details on Ravelry here
Can tell how much I love it?

This is one of the new patterns from Churchmouse - the Simple Tee. And simple it is: a back and a front in straight stockinette with side slits, a little cap sleeve and lovely details (slipped stitches on the exposed edges, sloped bind-offs for the neck and shoulders). They show the pattern in Shibui Twig and if four of my last six projects had been something other than Shibui (yikes - and two of them were Twig!) I would've used it. Instead I chose Berroco's Mykonos - a new yarn this spring that's a nice blend of linen, nylon and cotton. It's a little thick/thin which gives the finished fabric some interest.

My only modification was to shorten the body 2", but after it "rested" on my dress form for a week it grew about 1/2", so it's really just 1-1/2" shorter. It still works.

Katie paid me the finest compliment when she said she couldn't wait to borrow it (maybe next year? when she gets those white jeans back, too?!) I always have fun when she takes the photos...thank you, Katie!

The pattern also includes a shorter version with sleeves, which they show in Kidsilk Haze. I really don't like knitting with the stuff, but boy would it be nice to have a winter version. We'll see!

Hope you've got a great weekend planned - enjoy!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Little Side Trip.

One of the highlights of last week's visit was a "little side trip" to visit my aunt and cousins in south Florida. From Mother's house to Aunt Betty's is 204 miles, which Google Maps suggests is a quick drive

...that includes 180 miles on Florida's Turnpike.  My mom is an old fashioned road warrior; turnpikes and interstate highways are not her thing. Wednesday afternoon, she mapped a much different route (on a paper map). And since she wanted to drive, and we had the time, why not?!

We left her house just after eight o'clock on Thursday morning. We headed south to skirt past Orlando on the western side and then headed southeast. Driving two-lane highways (or rather riding shotgun, with a little dog and maybe some knitting in your lap)

affords a much different view of central Florida.



I kept notes of our various turns and a few town names  -
470 to 33 to 50 to 33 to 474 to 27 to 70 to 710 to 706 to 1
Mascotte, Groveland, Okeechobee, Indian Town

Mother had driven most of these roads before; she told me stories about the many trips she and Daddy had taken over the last 20 years. Despite the rain and having to slow down to 38 miles per hour for more than a few miles, we still made it to North Palm in time for lunch.

It was a treat to see my cousin Beth (it's been more than 15 years!)

and meet her two children (they're all visiting Betty for two weeks; they live in Boulder, which partly explains the 15+ years). Her son Joseph wasn't much for photos (he's 11 so no surprises there) but Rachel (she's 8) happily posed. Especially with Holly (they have a giant schnauzer at home and I wouldn't be surprised if their next dog is a mini :-)

After lunch, we played Mah Jongg (those two kids are way better than I am) and then enjoyed Betty's balcony. She lives on the 7th floor, which is the lowest floor in the building with a view of the ocean. That bit of land across the way is protected, so there won't ever be any buildings to block her view.

Friday morning we took that walk along the marina and then headed home. This time we went up US 1 to see the water (mostly the Intercoastal Canal).
my first view of the Intercoastal
We took a quick detour onto A1A just south of Vero Beach to see the ocean.


And then back over to 1 up to Mims (just north of Titusville) where we headed west on 46. I didn't take notes about turns and towns, but it was just as scenic, and a lot more traffic-y than the trip down. We made it home just after three o'clock.

I can totally see what my mom loves about these kinds of trips. And as long as she's willing and able to do the driving, I wonder where we'll go next!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Views from our Daily Walks.

Morning and late afternoon walks are part of our daily routine around here (as much as Holly might wish otherwise...especially when the temperature approaches 100 degrees). As I looked through my photos from this past trip, I was struck by how different the scenery is from what we see around here. 

This is from Friday morning's walk around the marina (at my aunt's in North Palm Beach). I sent this photo to Marc. It's the spot where Tiger's boat lives (when it's parked). The Atlantic Ocean is just on the other side of that far bit of land.

Saturday afternoon we were back in Leesburg with blue skies. And trees with yucca blooms (or maybe those are just really tall yucca plants?)

Sunday was mostly gray and rainy; it seemed appropriate given the early morning news about Orlando (which is less than an hour away from my mom). I shared this photo on Instagram.
"ready for the rainbow on this gray and rainy day #prayfororlando"
I took this photo Sunday, too - but doctored it up with PicTapGo and then Waterlogue'd it. This little view is one of my favorites in my mom's neighborhood. It might be the first time I've seen it without any flowers. But still, all those greens (even the filtered ones!)... this one makes me smile.

I hope you see something today that makes you smile too (even if you have to put a filter on it first!)  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Ten on Tuesday (ish) | A Bucket List Update.

Today, Carole's asked us to share our summer bucket lists. Since I did that last Wednesday, I thought I'd "ish" today's topic and share a quick update on mine.

First up, I played the 2016 Mah Jongg card at my aunt's on Thursday afternoon.

...not well...my aunt actually won all four of the hands we played. Clearly, practice helps; she plays two to three days a week! Hopefully I'll have another few opportunities to play soon (before I forget how all over again).

And Mother and I visited the Leesburg farmer's market Saturday morning. In addition to a big bagful of fresh vegetables, we also brought home fresh grouper.

...which she steamed (with a yummy combination of flavored olive oils) for Saturday's dinner.

I also purchased a popsicle mold and I've been doing lots of research on boozy treats. Stay tuned!

And because of course today is Tuesday, here's a quick glimpse of Charlie. Being silly...one of his favorite things to do right now!

Hope your summer's off to a fine start...can't wait to see what you've got planned! If you're not already playing along, click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun (and thank you, Carole, for hosting another great week!)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Back Home.

my view just before 11am this morning - and geez I wish we'd get a better billboard to accompany our welcome sign!
Happy to report the drive home was uneventful and I've got a few stories to tell y'all about later this week. But right now I need to get the car unpacked, laundry started, and see what's in the fridge for dinner.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ten on Tuesday | Curious.

This week, Carole's asked us to share things we're curious about. Hmmmmm... curious....
(I'm not sure where to credit this - it was the image that popped up when I googled "curious")
I'm curious about a lot of things in the sense of being eager to know or learn something. especially the eager to know part. I thought about making this a smart list, but after 11 hours with my favorite 21 month old, I'm just going to let it fly:

1. Why Carole chose this topic!

2. What features will the next iPhone release offer (and should I upgrade)?

3. Charlie and I picked up the mail from the mailbox this afternoon. And put every single piece of it into the recycling bin. How much longer will we have mail?

4. How hot is it really going to be in south Florida this week? (I'm headed to visit my mom tomorrow and then we're taking a quick trip to visit my aunt and cousins further south).

5. Who will be the next president? (as I type this, Marc is watching the news...and I hear that Trump has a 9pm news conference, so...)

6. Who will be Trump's VP? (Clinton's?)

7. I'm planning to play the 2016 Mah Jongg card for the first time when I visit my aunt. How will it go?

8. A lot of y'all are planning to read Pax after two rave reviews from me and Bonny...will you love it as much as we did? (we hope so!)

9. How much traffic will there be on the metro Atlanta highways tomorrow morning ... if I really do leave at 6am like I plan?

10. Could this little guy be any cuter?!
at the photo booth this morning...not at all into the whole Curious George vibe ;-)
Thank you for reading to the end of my crazy list! I hope you're playing along too - and if not, click here to join the fun!