Friday, November 17, 2017

Alaska | Anchorage.


If it's Friday, this must be Alaska. Today's travelogue is from Thursday, August 24 - the end of the cruise and the beginning of a long weekend in Anchorage. Our ship docked dark early in Seward

and we boarded the train for Anchorage.
from the Alaska Railroad website
This was our first of three train trips on the Alaska Railroad; I can't say enough good things about the company, the service, ... and oh my goodness the views. The trip from Seward to Anchorage (via Girdwood) is about four hours and it's fully narrated.
yay for knitting
and a full-service bar
We planned to travel the Anchorage to Grandview route again on Sunday; I have more photos to share from that trip - this is just a quick taste!



We arrived in Anchorage, checked into our hotel (the Historic Anchorage Hotel - really delightful and very close to the train station), had lunch (pizza!) and then took the Trolley Tour. This was a wonderful introduction to the city and its history. Our tour guide was energetic and entertaining. Highly recommend if you're ever in Anchorage.

Anchorage is a very pretty city and it was in full bloom.
in front of city hall 


The Anchorage natives call this monument to Eisenhower (president when Alaska became a state) "Eisenhower on the Half Shell"; the flowers are the best part!

We had dinner at Tequila 61° ... great food, cold beer ... and a fun bar scene.
Then early-ish to bed so we'd be up and ready for the train to Talkeetna. Stay tuned ... next week!

Happy Friday, y'all!!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Three on Thursday | Grateful.

...continuing with the theme:

1. Marc's continued commitment to moving more. We went shopping on Monday for his second new pair of shoes this year. Walking 3.5 miles every morning wears out shoes! Here he is snapping a photo of the old and new pairs to share on Instagram (I love that, too!)

2. Those morning walks have been wonderful for our relationship, too. There is something about walking together that makes it easier to talk. Of course being outside - and away from the TV - is healthy too.

3. The encouragement and community around NaBloPoMo. I look forward to seeing all the posts in my feed reader ... and reading the comments you share here. It's certainly a challenge to keep up (I find I'm usually a day behind), but the conversation is so inspiring. And hey, we're on the downhill stretch now, y'all!

from this morning's walk - the trees just to the right are lit with twinkle lights ... makes for an interesting "dark early" photo!
Head over to Carole's to see more Three on Thursday posts!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Unraveled Wednesday.

Joining in with Kat and crew today to share about books and knitting.

I haven't told y'all how obsessed I've been with Andrea Mowry's Comfort Fade Cardi - because until Tanis posted kits on November 3, I hadn't found yarn that I wanted to use (and could afford). Dark early that Friday morning, I placed my order for the Mona Lisa kit and asked if I could substitute Chestnut for Tartan. Tanis has little ones; she replied right back that it would be no problem. And even shipping from Canada, the yarn arrived Monday.
Chestnut, Stone, Mona Lisa, Sand
... too late to wind and swatch.

And then yesterday, I had the privilege of seeing Nicole Krauss at the book festival. Y'all - total fan girl moment!
She's smart, and articulate, and kind, and funny, and ... she even said it was great that I had two books for her to sign. Hearing her talk about the why and the process of writing Forest Dark* (I was about one-third through it yesterday), has made me want to slow down to really savor the words and the story.

...in any event, by the time I got home it was too late to wind and swatch.

I'll bet you know where this story's headed, don't you?

Yep, this morning I wound those four skeins. Oh aren't they pretty?

Then I knitted a "fade" (whoa, it takes a bunch of rows!), washed and dried (to just damp) it and let it air dry to finish. And finally, about an hour ago, I measured. Woohoo - it's perfect!
(and the gauge is spot on too)

I was skeptical about this whole fade thing - and about using a super wash merino - but that blocked swatch has convinced me... it's ok!

Happy Wednesday! happy halfway through NaBloPoMo!! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY Honoré!!!

*I actually won an advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway but the reviews from my friends (some of y'all) made me reluctant to even read it. When I found out Nicole would be at the book festival, I decided to give it a chance. Something is different for me, because I'm loving it. It's not A History of Love, but I've already read that book (at least three times). This is an engaging exploration of new territory.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tuesdays are for Poetry.

Today's poem is from a slim volume I bought in Sitka. The author owns the Sitka Rose Gallery, our first stop on the artist walking tour. It's always a treat to buy a book directly from the author (and I'm thinking this one, which doesn't even have a Goodreads entry, is going to be my micro press selection for the 2017 Read Harder Challenge).

From the author biography in the back of the book:
Eugene Solokov was born in Russin in 1964. He immigrated to the US when he was thirteen. He spent his teenage years in New York City, and received his BA in History from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He spent five years traveling around the world. In 1993, he opened, and continues to operate, the Sitka Rose Gallery.
I think I remember Eugene telling me that he wrote many of these poems while his marriage was breaking up. It's a bittersweet collection for sure.

The poem "I hate you more and love you always" repeats these two lines "My love for you is always, do not fear." and "I hate you more with every day, my dear." And the shortest piece in the book, "Divorce" is three simple lines:

It's only divorce,
it could have been worse: a flu
or an aneurysm.

There are 27 poems in all, including a collection of haikus. One of my favorites, though, is the title poem.

How to Frame a Landscape

It's easy. Point and shoot. Then, cut out
the unsmiling man in the left corner
or the one picking his nose in the right
or the dog urinating on a fire hydrant
or the boy blowing chewing gum over his face
or the wife wandering off with her lover.

You can also add details which aren't there:
a screaming eagle with a salmon in his claws
or a happily married couple holding hands
or your grandma strolling in her peculiar
yellow, polka-dot dress, both long departed.

Use Photoshop. Enhance, manipulate colors.
Add, subtract, multiply. Move the borders.
Lobotomize the photograph. It's easy to learn
how to frame a landscape properly,
to your liking. It's almost as easy as framing
a person, a friend perhaps, or a husband.

It's made me think about the photographs I share here. What I crop out. How I edit the colors or paint over them with Waterlogue. (I'm not good enough with Photoshop to do much else.) The ones I decide not to share. (the photos I don't take.) and as Marc and I approach our 34th anniversary, that last bit certainly gives me pause.

Thank you, Eugene, for giving me a different perspective, so beautifully described. I am enjoying it!
oops, we were in Sitka on the 22nd! but I decided that was a bit of landscape I didn't need to re-frame 😊

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekending.

Christmas crafting :: knitting with friends :: coffee knitting (by myself) :: planning projects :: Friday night snacks :: sunrise on a morning walk :: great football

Our weekend was full of many good things ... hope yours was too!