Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekending.


Those three photos, taken Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, pretty much tell the whole story. Snacks for dinner. Finishing up season one of Sneaky Pete (highly recommended!). Slightly cooler temperatures. Red wine. Magpie Murders. Endless stockinette. and lots of sunshine.

It was even cooler this morning - 62 degrees! Is this really almost August?

Hope your weekend was a good one!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Eye Candy Friday | An Evening in the Garden.

Karen, Lydia, me
Yesterday evening, my sister Karen and sister-in-law Lydia joined me for Cocktails in the Garden. It was our first time attending the event (which is held weekly during the summer), and it might be my new favorite Thursday evening activity!

Lydia and I arrived a little before 5 - just in time to get in a few photos before the skies opened up.



Thankfully the restaurant was happy to accommodate us a little early.

Karen joined us and we enjoyed a delightful bottle of rosé along with the cheese and charcuterie plates. I didn't take any photos of the food, but here's the skyline view from our table on the (covered) rooftop.

By the time we finished dinner, the rain had stopped; it turned out to be a lovely evening.




We wandered around and had as much fun looking at the garden as the people!

I love using Waterlogue for "street scenes"!
I took my camera bag with all three lenses, not sure what I'd want. I started with the 50mm and switched to the 24mm after dinner. A few of these photos, including the selfie of the three of us, are from my phone. I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable behind the camera which is a good thing - there are only two more Fridays before the trip!

Wishing y'all a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday.

it made me smile when I saw how well the knitting and the book coordinated!
Linking up with Kat today to share a quick update on what I'm knitting and reading. 

Stole 2.0 is the last big project I want to finish for Alaska. I have about 40 more rows of stockinette (which will use up all of that ball and some of another) and then 6 rounds of garter stitch around the whole piece. It's certainly doable, especially if I can resist starting Granito when my Plucky yarn arrives on Friday!

I downloaded Magpie Murders this morning and 2+ hours in, I'm enjoying it. I owe y'all an update on my bingo card, because this book will be the one I finish for a cover-all. next week. hopefully.

But now I'm going to enjoy a little knitting with a little more book (and a glass of wine) ... the perfect end to a full-on Marmie day!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

100 Days of Finding Light.

Back on July 12, I finished a daily series of "finding light" photos for #the100dayproject. Yep, for 100 days, I found something Light in my world, took a photo of it and shared it on Instagram. Along the way I learned that 100 days, counted one day at a time, seems to last forever. and sharing something every single day on Instagram can be a real challenge! (I'm still enjoying a bit of a break from Instagram 😌.)

But I am so glad I participated. Images tell a powerful story. I have a deeper understanding of what Light means to me and how prevalent it is, if I just pay attention.

As the project drew to a close, I started thinking about what I'd do with all the photos. I originally thought about a video (like Carole and Kat - theirs are wonderful!), but I wanted to see all the photos together. Ah...the internet is a wonderful resource! Photoshop can create a "contact sheet" (aka a mosaic) and Costco can print a 14x14 canvas. In about an hour, I had the photos compiled and the canvas ordered

and a week later, I had the canvas.

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. and having it so visible (in my study, behind my desk) is exactly the reminder I need. Light is everywhere. sometimes I just need to look for it.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sometimes Mondays.

from today's morning walk
...are full of promise.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Eye Candy Friday | Mosaic and Lace.

spoiler alert!

...and happy Friday! I've shared a few in-progress phone photos here already, but the finished project deserved the big camera (with the 50mm lens) and an Eye Candy post. This shawl was fun to knit - even the picot bind-off, which went surprisingly quick (I finished it before Federer won his second set on Sunday) - and the results are stunning.




Enjoy the weekend!




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Think Write Thursday | Staying Cool.

Today's Think Write Thursday topic is tell us what you do to beat the heat! We're deep into summer here and some of us love the heat and some of us hate it but either way we all have to cope with it. What do you do that works for you? Share your tips, stories and more on coping with summer heat!

I've lived in the South for most of my life (which still seems crazy, but it's most definitely true!) and I have to say that the number one thing is air conditioning. I do love fresh air and sunshine, but when the heat index gets into triple digits, I stay inside. We have ceiling fans running non-stop as well.

Some places (church, the grocery store, Starbucks) do air conditioning a little too well, but I don't mind that either. It's the perfect opportunity for a hand knit shawl, scarf or cardigan.

The other idea I have is a cold, icy drink. Last night, I mixed up a batch of Watermelon St-Germain Slush (thanks to A Beautiful Mess).

It only took a couple of hours to freeze the watermelon chunks (I layered them in a glass pan with plastic wrap between the layers to keep them from freezing together). I squeezed a little more lime over the slush before serving. Delicious and refreshing! and pretty, too!

Head on over to Carole's blog to see what ideas others have shared.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday | Finding Joy.

The Book of Joy is the next book for my Friday morning small group. I started reading it this morning and after just 16 pages, I'm all in.
"Together they explored how we can transform joy from an ephemeral state into an enduring trait, from a fleeting feeling into a lasting way of being." (from the Introduction)
We read slowly, so we have ample time in our 90 minutes together each week to really cover what we've read. I expect this book might take us nearly to Advent. It's a journey I'm looking forward to.

I'm also still knitting the same sweater I showed you last week, but this is a different part of it. I finished the back and that's the left front. One more piece after that and the knitting will be done. Then I'll have to block and seam, find buttons and sew them on. Those non-knitting finishing steps are not my favorite. I might need to read ahead a bit to learn how to find joy in them!

Joining in with Kat and crew today.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Morning Run Haiku.


ruffled blue sky blooms,
birdsongs greet the day; press on,
a warm welcome home


Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Bingo 2017 | Mid-summer Update.

you can see all these books on my Summer Bingo 2017 shelf on Goodreads
Hello, readers! Do y'all feel like it's "mid-summer" already? School starts around here in just three weeks (yep, August 7 ... crazy, huh?!) so for a lot of folks, summer is winding down. Same with my bingo card.

Friday morning I finished Hallelujah Anyway for a fourth bingo. I also finished South of Broad (upper right corner); it was even better than I expected, which is saying a lot! I gave it five stars, bringing my summer reading total to five five-star books. I've already raved here about Jimmy Carter's A Full Life, but I haven't shared much at all about the other four. Here are the short reviews I posted on Goodreads.

South of BroadSouth of Broad by Pat Conroy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Bingo - An author who died last year.

Pat Conroy can tell a story beautifully and this is one of his best. Beach Music has been on my all-time favorites shelf for years; this one goes there, too. It has all the things I love about a book - an epic story, family secrets, interesting characters, great settings (Charleston and San Francisco) a little mystery and a little love.

As I was reading this - and raving about how good it was - a few friends said they'd read The Prince of Tides and wasn't Conroy a really dark author. I replied that Beach Music was different - all the great things, and yes, a little dark, but the overall feeling is that the book is just.plain.good. South of Broad is like that, too.

Note - I listened to parts and read parts. The audio was decent. The southern accent wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible; and the male narrator did a fine job with both male and female characters.

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Bingo - Set in a place I'd like to vacation.

An hour into the book, I wasn't sure I'd chosen the right square for this book; the cold, hard frontier of 1920's Alaska is certainly not a place I'd like to vacation! But as I got deeper into the book, I saw love and friendship and wild beauty and I decided it was OK.

I love everything about this book. It's magical, heartbreaking and beautifully written.

Sigh, I can't wait for Ivey's next book!

The Gene: An Intimate HistoryThe Gene: An Intimate History by Siddartha Mukherjee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summer Bingo - Non-fiction about science. I'm adding this book to my "everyone should read" shelf (along with Gawade's Being Mortal, Mukherjee's previous book The Emperor of All Maladies and Ellenberg's How Not to Be Wrong) and recommending it to nearly everyone.

My friend Bonny wrote a wonderful review.

I'll just add this:
Fascinating material, beautifully presented, ultimately approachable and such important information for everyone to understand. The moral and ethical problems we're facing now around genetic testing and gene therapy give me pause. Where we could be in another five or ten years, well ...
The genome is only a mirror for the breadth or narrowness of human imagination. It is Narcissus reflected.

It is nonsense to speak about nature or nurture in absolutes or abstracts. Whether nature, that is the gene, or nurture, that is the environment, dominates in the development of a feature or function depends acutely on the individual feature and the context.


One Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summer Bingo - Translation. Wow. I LOVED this book on audio. Listening to it - hearing the names just roll off easily, the inflection that helped me see the really funny parts (seriously, I laughed out loud many times) and the sad parts. I am so glad I gave the book another chance - a big thank you to all my friends on Goodreads who kept telling me how wonderful it was!!

notes from my 2008 reading: it was ok, but honestly, after so loving love in the time of cholera, i was disappointed. it may be a while before i attempt another of his books.

That's right, back in 2008, I read the book and gave it two stars ... just goes to show that time of life - and book format! - can make a huge difference in how we perceive books.

I then spent most of the rest of Friday (hence, no blog post 😉) sorting through my to-read shelves to come up with a plan for the remaining six squares. I started LaRose (An author of color) and A Piece of the World (About art) and committed to three others (Strangers on a Train, The History of Love and The Memoir Project).

That leaves just the Free Square undecided. I've only purchased two books this summer - The Memoir Project and Hillbilly Elegy (which I was going to read for Bingo, but decided I'm just not in the mood); there's room in the budget for a third (and I have audible credits). I'm hoping y'all can help me choose something good. Recommendations welcome!!

Once I finish this card, I'll get back to the Read Harder Challenge. I still have a ways to go ... but there are several titles (including Beartown, Their Eyes Were Watching God and One Man's Meat) I've been looking forward to for months!

It's been a wonderful summer - and honestly a pretty good year - of reading so far. I hope you can say the same!



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Think Write Thursday | Three Good Things.

Today's Think Write Thursday topic is to write about three good things that happened this week.

Sitting here Thursday evening with a grapefruit vodka tonic (and a shaking dog in my lap - thunderstorms!) and only one item left on this week's to do list (a Friday afternoon trip to Costco), it feels like a very good week. Here are my top three highlights:

Tuesday bedtime
1. I had not one but two playdates with Charlie. Tuesday afternoon I picked him up from school and we went out for frozen yogurt before heading home to play with Sam and Katie. I stayed through bedtime - always a treat - and then enjoyed a delicious dinner and some good girl-talk with Katie. This morning, we went to the park and then out for pizza. I'm really happy one of the guys in my life loves pizza as much as I do!
Thursday at the park
2. I also met up with friends two times for knitting. Our Monday afternoon group is coming together nicely, and it helps to have a common project.
FIVE mystery shawls!
My shawl is bottom left - all the way done with clue 4, so I used the time to finish up the second sleeve on Tide Chart (aka the "four week sweater").

3. And thanks to that, and a little more time on Tuesday morning, Tide Chart is done and blocked!

We all know that focus on the GOOD is GOOD for us so let's do it!  Head on over to Carole's blog to share your GOOD this week!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday | A Singular Focus.


I can't remember the last time I was reading (and listening to) just one book and actively knitting on just one project. South of Broad is really that good ... and the sweater, well, it's probably going to take a back seat to the mystery shawl tomorrow morning (when the last clue comes out), but for today, it has my complete attention!

Joining in with Kat and looking forward to seeing what y'all are reading and knitting this week.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Looking Back | June 2017.


Today I'm looking back at June through the lens of my daily photos. It was a surprisingly full month! No out of town trips left plenty of room for exploring closer to home, meet-ups with friends to walk or knit, FaceTime with friends who don't live nearby (that's Honoré's dear face on the 7th), and lots of walking, reading and knitting on my own.

also cocktails. That pretty drink on the 30th is a raspberry elderflower gin and tonic; it's delicious. I'm hoarding a few raspberries to make another batch this week. I followed the recipe pretty much as written except I omitted the simple syrup and used elderflower tonic just because I had some (I'm hoarding the last bottle of that as well).

I didn't realize until I compiled the collage this morning that there's no Charlie - yikes! Hopefully July will tell a more "balanced" story of my time with both boys. Maybe I'll even have a finished sweater (or two) to share as well, along with a few more book bingos!

Good thing it's a long month, right?!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekending | Haiku Fun.

Friday evening fun
planning a fourth pen purchase
easy lace with gin

Sunday morning run
brilliant blue skies, a cool breeze
lake as smooth as glass

mystery shawl caught up
back to Alaska knitting
a four week sweater!

😊 that pretty much sums it up! Hope your weekend was a fun one, too!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Eye Candy Friday | Another Morning in the Garden.

Any morning that starts with this view is bound to be a good one!

...and we ended with this. I taught Charlie the proper way to eat pizza - point first! He was a quick study 😉


In between, we visited the Botanical Garden for Story Time and a quick walk to the big lawn for some exploring and camera practice.  Quite unlike our last visit, the sun was shining and the sky was clear and blue.








I used the 24-105mm f/4L lens (with a hood, but no filters). It's a little big - and heavy - for being out and about, but when it's just me and Charlie (no stroller, no diaper bag), it's manageable. I love how versatile it is!

The garden is really a fun place to practice. But of course, the best part is sharing it with Charlie!

Happy Friday!