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Monday, April 30, 2018

Late April Weekending.

It's been a while since I posted about a weekend at home; this one was pretty special. We started with Friday night snacks and actual cocktails.
That's my Negroni (and popcorn); Marc's Seabreeze was out of frame. We watched some crazy movie that Marc recorded last weekend when we had a free HBO trial. I couldn't tell you anything about it except that it was hard to follow ... and I knitted.

Saturday morning was chilly and bright and I ran to the lake and back. for the first time since January 3. Yep, nearly four months!!; it felt great. The midpoint view was pretty spectacular, too.

I spent the day catching up with friends and knitting. Then I grabbed a quick nap to get ready for the weekend's highlight - a wedding!
the chuppah - with the ketubah in full-on sun
This is the first wedding Marc and I have been to since Katie got married (almost five years ago!). 

The bride is the stepdaughter of one of Marc's good friends (and the bride's mom is a friend of mine). We went with two other couples who were also at Katie's wedding ... so much fun!
the bride's mom is 3rd from the left (showing off the pockets in her dress - very smart design element!) and her husband is standing next to her
♥ Marc videoing their first dance
the bride and groom - fun fact - he was her younger brother's best friend growing up
tradition! the bride and groom are carried on chairs for this dance!
Needless to say, we were toast yesterday. Holly had more energy than the two of us combined.  ...and only when I poured out her entire toy stash onto the floor.

I took this photo when I got into bed. I did actually read a few pages past this point, but the photo is timestamped 8:11pm. 
As Bright as Heaven ... very good so far
Thankfully, we felt like ourselves again today!

I hope you had some fun this weekend, too ... but maybe not so much that you were toast yesterday 😉. Happy Monday!

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Beaufort 2018 | Part One.

This year's trip* was maybe the most fun ... the place we stayed was perfect for the four of us, the weather was cool and breezy but dry, the food and drink were amazing (as always) and I won the weekend-long dice tournament 😉. I'm not sure if it was the fun factor, or having 1SE (movie!), or just that we are all so comfortable with each other and the place, but I have a record 70+ photos (that's the edited down number) and a video mashup #funproblems.

We love looking back on these blog posts as we plan our visits - and of course as we look back on the high (and low) lights of past years. All of this is a long way of saying that I'm going to share this year's trip in multiple posts. I decided to start with an overview - the video, my favorite "all of us" photos and a little bit more.

Here's the video
Cheers!-ing is a favorite subject (you know that if you follow my 1SE monthly mashups on Instagram), as are walking and wind chimes, but I don't often get to peek into a wedding (just as Shout! comes on) or a beautiful old church with a massive pipe organ.

One thing that I'm sure contributed to this year's trip being so fun is that we all drove together! We did have to rent a car to be sure we had enough space for everyone's luggage and knitting (and that big bottle of wine :-), but it was well-worth it.
(I promise Lydia is there in the backseat behind my big hair!)
Friday morning, we went to visit my dad. Beaufort was evacuated last September for Hurricane Irma and Charlie assured us the Memorial Garden made it through unscathed.

We thought it looked even better - there was a big (overgrown) oak tree in the middle of garden and it has been replaced with flowers and flowering shrubs.

We had lunch on Friday at Lowcountry Produce - and we found a very nice woman to take our photo.  We also had a very nice waitress who didn't seem to mind that we were there for almost two hours.

Friday night we ate at Emily's (tapas!). Here we are just before leaving.

Saturday lunch was at Wren's. We had "our table" in the back corner.

We walked from there to the Pat Conroy Literary Center. I wasn't thinking we'd have a good photo op there, but we did!
Karen is sitting in Pat's desk chair and that's his writing table. Apparently, he wrote in a similar setup on those yellow legal pads. I didn't think to ask then, but I wonder just how many yellow legal pages South of Broad was in manuscript ...

Saturday dinner was at Old Bull Tavern and we did not get a photo. Sunday night we were at Saltus. As we were leaving, I approached a group of strangers at the bar and asked if anyone would be willing to take our photo. One woman enthusiastically agreed - phew!

My last photo is one I took Sunday morning, just after sunrise, on a walk by myself.

The low country at its best!

Next week, I'll share more about the food and drink. and who knows what might come after that.

Happy Friday, y'all!

*Katie shared this article with me last weekend and I read it out loud to my housemates. We all agreed that it was a trip (family, in-laws, packing the car, groceries, dishwasher, ...) but in a most acceptable way. Maybe we're all at the age when a getaway with family is just more special.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Inexhaustible Supply.

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day (thank you, Kym, for the reminder!)

Here's the one I'm carrying with me today.

Inexhaustible Supply

There is no distance,
after all, between the
heart and the object
of its longing, no gap
between theory and
experience. It's all
here in easy reach.

This isn't a secret
teaching, locked away
from the uninitiated.
Ask, and All That Is
responds. Knock, and
in some corner, a door
opens. Pray and the
day is different.

Like fruit at harvest
time, love is mine
for the gathering and
giving, always an
inexhaustible supply.

The only proof of
this is in living as
if the source of love
will not run dry. To
fear that I might prime
the pump and find
nothing in my cupped
and eating hands is to
doubt the One who
authors everything.
Why go there?

- Danna Faulds, from One Soul


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday | Yes, No and Maybe.

Happy Wednesday! I'm joining in with Kat and friends today to talk about knitting - specifically, an update on last week's next-up post.

I'll start with the Yes!
This is Edie, almost halfway through the body. The colors are most definitely outside my comfort zone, but it is fun to see how they play together in the knitting. Apparently, I'm also getting lazy a lot more relaxed about swatching. When I blocked the swatch (knit on 4's), it shrunk. So I cast on with 6's...fingers crossed!

The No! is True Colors
I love the pattern. I love the yarn. I do not like them together. The reality of the design in anything more than two colors is ends. and it's not just weaving them in. It's also making sure the tension at the beginning and end of each color is right. I've decided the pattern needs a sticky yarn and I'm playing around with my little stash of Kidsilk Haze to find a color combo I like. I've decided the yarn needs a multi-colored pattern that lets you carry the colors. Maybe Color Affection? stay tuned!

The Maybe! is Calyx
With Lydia's help, I did find a "goes with dark blue and white jeans" color of Berroco Remix in Beaufort (the actual color is little lighter than the almost-dry swatch on the right). This morning I swatched. First with 7's (right) and then with 6's (left).  One questionable gauge project is apparently as much excitement as I can handle! The pattern suggests 6-10" of positive ease, so I'm not too worried about stitch gauge. But Elizabeth has a whole paragraph about Row Gauge Considerations in the notes. I don't want to calculate a bunch of adjustments, so I'm hoping one of those swatches nails it. We'll see!

Balise is still in its project bag. Yes I'm going to knit it. No I haven't started yet. and Maybe it will be ready for Memorial Day 😉.

What's a Yes! in your world right now?

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018


...for about 25 hours now. We had a wonderful weekend and I had all the best intentions of telling y'all about it today. Instead I finished the green cardigan.

All the seams, ends and buttons took way longer than I imagined (honestly, if I'd imagined how long ... I probably would've put it off for another day 😉) and now all I want to do is pour a glass of wine and read about what all of you have been up to!

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday | Next-up.

The pieces of the green cardigan are dry and ready to seam and I'm on the last 20 grams of Bateaux Mouches, but all my knitting thoughts have turned toward what to knit next.

clockwise from lower left: Balise, Edie, True Colors and Calyx.

I've been talking about Balise for months and I think I'm almost ready to start. The swatch is done and the the yarn and needles are in a project bag. soon....

Yesterday, I wound yarn for Edie (stash from one of my last visits to Sara's Madison LYS) and swatched.

I also wound yarn for True Colors. This project - one of the MDK Final Four and eligible for the March Mayhem KAL - has intrigued me for weeks. It's not at all what I usually knit (colors? stripes? ends??!!), but once I found gypsythedog's version (three colors, and not at all too bright), I couldn't get it out of my head. I had an idea to knit it out of linen and I ordered Sparrow last weekend. It arrived ... and I'm smitten.

The wildcard is Calyx. This is the latest design from Elizabeth Doherty and I was all set to pass (because I still have Archer in my queue) ... until multiple WIPs and FOs showed up in my Instagram feed this past weekend. The pattern calls for two Shibui yarns held together (I don't want to spend the money), but the result is DK. And it just so happens that the LYS in Beaufort carries Berroco Remix Light (which I love - I knit a cardigan with it last summer). Of course we're going to visit that LYS this weekend. and if I can find three skeins in a color that will go with white and dark denim, I'm in. and quickly - Elizabeth is hosting an "any sweater KAL" in her Ravelry group and it ends May 6. yep... 😀.

Here's what all those plans look like right this second.
left to right - Edie, True Colors, Balise
I hope to have a much different version to share with y'all next week!

Check out Kat's post to see what others are unraveling about. Happy Wednesday!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Currents | April.

Saying Yes to "YES!". This beautiful reminder of my 2018 intention arrived in yesterday's mail, together with a sweet note from Honoré 😘. I placed it front and center on my desk where I can see it every morning as I journal...reflecting on yesterday, grateful for today, and planning for tomorrow. 

Loving slower mornings and coffee with Marc during the week. Most mornings that means a second pot of coffee ... and just this week I've learned that is better as decaf!

Planning my next few knitting projects. I wound yarn today for two and swatched for one. I also did a major organize/purge of my stash and it feels really good!

Eating salads with lean protein (gah, still!) ... and popcorn.

Drinking red wine (gah, still!).

Watching Bosch. and Homeland. and hoping to start Howard's End and the latest season of Call the Midwife soon.

Needing to find a Vice Moderator to join our women's ministry leadership team. This year I'm the Vice Moderator, and next year I move into the Moderator role; I need someone to take my current role. We've approached half a dozen women so far ... the conversations aren't easy for this introvert ...  and I'm getting discouraged.

Wanting SPRING! I know many of y'all are seeing snow and much colder temperatures than we have here. But this is Georgia. in late April. it's supposed to be Spring!

Enjoying wearing make-up again. I went to Bobbi Brown last Thursday and replaced what I had to throw away (thanks to pink eye). It was freeing to go make-up free for so long, but I do like myself better with at least a touch of mascara.

Hoping the upcoming election season doesn't get as nasty as I think it might.

Wishing for a round trip ticket to NYC this summer. Sara's contract in Atlanta ended last week and I'm not sure when she'll be back here. Seems like I need to go there.

Saying Thank You for all of you (and especially those of you who take the time to comment). This space is a very special part of my life and I'm glad you're part of it ... and that you've let me be part of yours.

Looking forward to Beaufort 2018! We leave Thursday and return Monday. I look forward to a real weekending post, for sure!

I hope you have something good to look forward to this week ... please share!

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Sometimes Mondays.

...bring a much-welcome win!

I rearranged a few things today to make time to seam the shoulders and knit the neckband. When I weighed the yarn I had left and compared it to the sleeve I still needed to finish, I actually thought I was going to win by a lot. That little ball weighs just over 3 grams. But adding in the few other scraps, there's plenty to seam the sleeves and underarms and sew on 7 buttons. whew!

Hope your week is off to a winning start, too!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

FO Friday | Quick Sand.

Sunday afternoon - in addition to coloring (and showing off my spring pedicure) - we took finished photos of Quick Sand.

I'm not sure holding a toddler really shows off the sweater details, but this is the fourth time I've knit the pattern. Y'all know what it looks like, right?

My gauge was a little tighter than what the pattern called for, so I knit the next up size. It worked perfectly. I followed Heidi's excellent instructions as written except for the hems. On the body, I worked two rows of garter before binding off; and on the sleeves, I went down a needle size to work those two rows of garter and bind off. I'm really happy with how it turned out! (project on Ravelry here)

...and yay for Friday - have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Three on Thursday | A Reading Update.

If you read the title of this post, I'm sure you're wondering how I could possibly share a reading update - even just a little over three months into the year - with only three things. Well - I'm only going to share three images 😉.

Image one - tracking the only reading goal I made for the year - to buy fewer books.

That 13% is just five books - three were definitely impulse (must keep reading) purchases, but two were for Lent - one for my daily devotion and one for my small group (I always buy those books). I'd like to see the blue "pie" get a little bigger - likely at the expense of the red, but honestly, I'm ok with where I'm at.

Image two - tracking the book format.

When I shared my January update, the Audio percent was the same (yeah, I know, that does seem weird, but I think it's right!) but the real book percent was higher (17%). Since then, I finished 28 more books and only four were real books. I'm tracking this because I'm curious ... I'm not surprised I read more with my ears than my eyes, but now I'm wondering about what kind of books are better to listen vs. read (I'd love to hear what you think!) ... and how about the segue into 

Image three - my year-to-date favorites.
shelved here
I curate this shelf pretty closely because I like to keep it to no more than 12-14 titles (that's about 15% of what I read). It's not just 5-star books. and a book that I shelve here early on might not make the cut come December. Only two of those books are audio (the first two in the Scarlett Women series I talked about in January) and I rated both of them four stars (in other words they weren't great, but I enjoyed them immensely). Eleanor's biography (blogged here) and Interrupting Silence were real books I read with my small group. and the others I read on my Kindle (four borrowed, one bought this year - Gentleman in Moscow, which I bought last year on audio and wanted to read this time).

Hummmm.... in years past, I know I've listened to plenty of 5-star books. This year, I'm enjoying reading them. and I LOVE to read on Kindle because it's easy to highlight, easy to read and eat (or knit ... since no hands required and only one finger to turn the page) and easy to navigate (x-ray! dictionary!). like I said ... hummmmm....

All that said - and especially considering that favorites shelf, I think the year is off to an OK start. I'd like to improve the quality (year-to-date, I'm averaging just over 3.5 stars and I'd like that to be closer to 4) and keep an eye on those top two charts. 

Summer Bingo will be starting next month (!!) and that always adds a bit of spice - and FUN! - to the mix. 

If you read this far, thank you! I would love to hear your thoughts on reading with your eyes vs. ears. or maybe what book you think should turn up next on my favorites shelf.

Carole does an awesome job hosting Three on Thursday. Check out her blog to see what she and others have shared!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday.

Hello and Happy Almost Thursday!

I am making slow but steady progress on my second Quintessential Cardigan. But - I'm worried I won't have enough yarn. I have no idea why I just assumed I would, but ... I did! After I knit that first sleeve, and was a little into the back - maybe when I joined the 2nd or 3rd ball? - I noticed that I didn't have a lot of balls left. I weighed the sleeve, weighed all the yarn I had left, looked at my notes from last time and realized I was going to be close. Worst case, I can knit short sleeves - which will mean unraveling the one I already knit - and best case, I'll be ok.

This morning, I finished the first front and got the scale out again.

On the left are the first sleeve and first front. On the right is the yarn I have left. That yarn needs to knit a second sleeve, a second front and a neckband. I'm cautiously optimistic.

I've started the second front and I'll do the neckband next. Stay tuned!

On the reading front, I just started listening to The Signature of All Things ... and when I grabbed that link I saw that a few of y'all didn't care for it. I'm just two hours in (with 20+ more to go), but so far, I'm enjoying it. We'll see! (cautiously optimistic again.)

Check out Kat's to see what everyone else is knitting and reading - hopefully all good stuff!

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Tiny Moment from the Weekend.

With a nod to Juliann, who introduced this Tuesday topic and often fed our blog readers with tiny moments spent with her grandson - thank you, friend!

My mom and I spent a few hours with our two favorite little boys (and their parents) on Sunday afternoon. We timed the visit so the boys were just finishing their naps when we arrived. The afternoon was then full of snacks, drinks, toys, puzzles, potty breaks, trips upstairs for more toys and puzzles. and coloring.

This is a 10 foot long coloring roll (maybe this one?) and the boys actually colored for about 30 minutes. (so did Katie. so did I - except when I was taking photos and video 😊).

I love so much about this photo - those two light brown heads, so focused. how they're sitting on the paper. playing together. Charlie showing Sam. Sam just wanting to do whatever his brother is doing. (my pretty spring pedicure 😉.)

But this moment, five minutes later, really steals my heart.

Happy Tuesday!

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Sometimes Mondays.

... begin unexpectedly damp, gray and chilly. But this afternoon I spent two lovely hours knitting with friends, and made a quick stop at Trader Joe's for a $4 bouquet and a $5 bottle of wine (with a beautiful spring label). There is nothing like time with friends and a little TJ's to brighten things up 😀.

Hope your week is off to a bright start, too!


Friday, April 6, 2018

Eye Candy Friday.

Partly in response to all the favorable comments about yesterday's blue sky blooms and partly because I know many of y'all are expecting snow in the next couple of days, I thought I'd share some more April Eye Candy.

I'm pretty sure the photo I shared yesterday is a wild azalea. Here's that same tree with its neighbor

and a portrait shot of those orange blooms.

These are the azaleas at the front of our neighborhood. I took these photos yesterday morning, anticipating that Masters-focused post.

From this morning's walk, here's the snowball viburnum I shared in Tuesday's March recap (this is what the "green hydrangea" turned into!)

and last - but by no means least - cherry blossoms. These blooms are showing up everywhere right now ... and our church grounds are covered in pink! When I left my small group meeting this morning, the light was just right for the pink

and one more #blueskybloom!

Wishing everyone a bloom-filled blue sky kind of weekend, with light, bright Spring-like thoughts (especially all of you who might see snow instead).

And a special shout-out to Carole who is running for Selectman in her town; tomorrow is election day and I know she appreciates all our support!

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