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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Three on Thursday | The Beltline.

My two favorite little boys didn't have school yesterday. So I had the privilege of joining them and their mom at a new-to-me place in Atlanta - Ponce City Market and the Beltline. Same as last week, today's post doesn't quite fit into Three on Thursday, but I'm going for it anyway!
  1. The drive down was awful.
  2. It was totally worth it.
  3. I'm looking forward to our next visit (hopefully on a weekend!)
Point 1. (and the actual was even worse). 
Thankfully the trip home was much better (see point 3).

Point 2. Where do I start? The cityscape views were amazing ...
headed north before lunch - Ponce City Market is ahead of us
headed north after lunch - the market is behind us 

too cool! Charlie knew about this and made sure I saw 
here's the door more "actual size"
but the up close shots with the boys....totally priceless!
even their mom couldn't convince them to smile!
but hotdogs could!!
Marc loves hotdogs. I don't. I texted him those photos and I think he almost wished he'd been there. (almost. it wasn't raining at home either. and golf.)

Point 3. ...maybe this Saturday.

Short weeks do fly by! I hope you're almost to the end of your to-do list ... because tomorrow is TGIF!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday | The Blanket's Tale (part three).

Joining in with Kat and friends to share yet another update on Sara's blanket.

The most exciting thing about this week's story is that I'm now halfway through the fourth (of five) section; the end is creeping into view!

Along the way, we finished reading Paris in the Present Tense with the Kindle propped up on the counter. It was only the last 100 or so pages, but it was a great ending. We also finished A Tale of Two Cities. I listened to this more away from the house (walking, running, driving), so I'm guessing the story was a little hard to follow. Still, I gave both books five stars and that certainly counts for something!

There was still plenty of time with Holly.

But a lot more TV than usual - thanks to all the rain and our current obsession with The Americans. We are now nearly through Season 4 and I've knitted through every single episode so far!

We're also caught up with Patrick Melrose. As I expected, the third episode is a lot more hopeful than the first two and I'm looking forward to see how it wraps up (there are two more episodes to go).

And on Monday, we even watched a little HGTV. Sara and I share a love for all the shows ... and there was a marathon of Beachfront Bargain Hunt on that afternoon. We didn't guess right once; hopefully once the blanket lives with Sara, it will do better.

Happy Wednesday!

P.S. one more WIP shot - of the blanket's backside. The gradient is easier to see here!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Memorial Day Weekending.

It feels late - even for me! - to be writing about the weekend when it will be Wednesday before many of you read this. But this Tuesday-as-Monday has been more like a Monday, except without my usual  knitting with friends in the afternoon and with a bunch of to-do's for this weekend's Women's Ministry leadership team (still without a Vice Moderator) kickoff meeting. It's honestly not very often that I cross things off my list on MondayTuesday, so at least that feels good!

As does looking back at the weekend:

We FaceTimed with our favorite little guys more than once. This is from Friday night's "goodbye". Sam is blowing a kiss and Charlie is getting ready to make a bubble (and next time I see him I'm going to have to ask what the bubble has to do with goodbyes...because now we can't remember).

Our weather forecast turned out to be wrong a lot - in that it did not rain for 96 straight hours and we saw some sun. Marc played three rounds of golf and I went to the lake three times - two times running and once walking. Sunday morning, I snapped that photo of the flag at the lake. It was a good reminder of why Monday was a holiday.

Running twice was a big deal. I haven't made two back-to-back runs (even short three-mile ones) in a couple of years. I'm sure the second one was better because I got new shoes!

That stack of books middle bottom is my "next up" pile. The bottom one and top two are not library books, but still - I need practice managing my hold queue! The good news is that the loans aren't due until June 23 and I'm actually thinking I might be able to read them all.

And finally, lower right, a three-day weekend means two two snack nights! and (not pictured) pork tacos. Marc is still the pro with our Instant Pot - we had a pork loin in the freezer (which he thawed) and then "slow" cooked it in about an hour. I added the guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. This is definitely going on our repeat menu and I'll take photos and share the recipe next time!

I hope your week is off to a good start!

(Blogger is still not sending me emails about comments, so I apologize that I'm not replying if you've left one. Please know that I am reading - and enjoying - every one of them and I value the community this exchange has created in my life. Thank you!)

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Cheers | Frozen Negroni.

First, to all of you who've left comments on recent posts and haven't heard back from me - I apologize! Apparently, Blogger has stopped notifying me about comments. and ugh, I'm not sure how to fix this. Please know I appreciate all of you and I hope to get back to personal replies soon.

And now on to today's topic. In honor of the first weekend of summer, I have a frozen cocktail to share!

I started researching summer cocktails a few weeks ago and quickly found one to try first - my favorite Negroni, blended with fresh juice and crushed ice.

The first time through, I followed the recipe as written, including squeezing blood oranges and chilling the liquids prior to blending. It worked beautifully.

The second time through, I didn't have any more blood oranges, so I substituted ruby red grapefruit juice (not even fresh-squeezed) and didn't wait to chill. It worked beautifully. And for my taste, I actually liked the grapefruit better than the orange.

Frozen Negroni - makes 2 drinks
(inspired by Kitchn)

1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz red vermouth
3 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
1-1/2 cups coarsely crushed ice

Put the ice in the blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.


and have a wonderful long weekend. I'll see you back here Tuesday!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Three on Thursday | Atlanta Botanical Garden.

My mom and I spent the day at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and I had planned to make that today's Three on Thursday post. You know, along the lines of three things I loved, or three new-to-me plants, or three favorite photos ... but the reality of the Garden. in May. on a day when it's warm but not hot, with a cloudy morning that gives way to beautiful white clouds against a bright blue sky. after days of rain. and an incredible special exhibit called (most appropriately) Imaginary Worlds. well.... here's what my photos looked after I went through them

It's a good problem to have, for sure! so here are three of the my favorite parts of today's visit:

First, the Garden ... the hydrangeas are in full bloom (which my mom tells me is because they've loved all our recent rain. I'm glad to know something is thriving) and my mom spied a bright orange daylily that she'd left behind in Florida (a souvenir planting from one of our many visits to Callaway Gardens).
Last year's White Garden planted around that blue and white Chihuly (middle right) has been replaced with zinnias and poppies. The white was beautiful, but the color this year is more my style. I was also surprised at all the varieties and shades of hydrangeas. Beautiful.

Second, Imaginary Worlds. We've both seen a lot of ads for it, but in real life it's even better. There are twelve parts to the exhibit and we saw ten of them. Every single one of them was delightful, but these are my favorites.

This is the first one ... a most fitting beginning! and there's a glimpse of another topiary book resting on its side in the lower left.

The Mammoth.

The Phoenix.

I was surprised he had a really sweet face. the eyes ....

The Shaggy Dog,

with another very sweet face!

The Dragon.

here's a detail shot of his "scales".


and the Camels.

and third, the chance to experience all of this with my mom, who is now most complimentary of my selfie skills 😀

Linking up with Carole and friends and wishing everyone a Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday | The Blanket's Tale (part two).

Joining in with Kat and friends to share another update on Sara's blanket.

When I'm knitting something for someone else, I pay closer attention than usual to what sorts of experiences I "expose" the piece. And for an epic knit like this one, it can tell quite a tale! Here's a brief glimpse of the best parts since I shared last week's update.

Sara and Holly have a special bond and much of this blanket's at-home knitting time has been just like this.
Friday evening
A most happy occasion.
Saturday morning
Time with friends.
Monday afternoon
Time with a very special TV show.
Tuesday afternoon 
...because it has personal significance for Sara, too!

Porch time.

Not bad for a week, right?! Now I'm curious what tale the next installment will tell.

I'm not quite to the halfway point, but I have knitted through the two balls in last week's photo. The color change from gradient 2 to gradient 3 is a bit more subtle - hence the locking marker so I can count the repeats.

...and finally, I'm reminded that pausing every so often is good. Look what I found when I took the photo above.

Yep, there's going to be a bit of unraveling! (but just a bit - it will be tedious, but I can fix that slipped stitch boo-boo by dropping down the stitch marked in orange to the stitch marked in green.)

On the while-I'm-alone listening front, most of this week has been spent with Simon Vance (one of my all-time favorite narrators) reading A Tale of Two Cities. I have about five hours left to listen and this book would satisfy several of my Bingo squares, but I'm not sure I can wait til Saturday to find out how it ends!

Has your knitting seen or heard anything especially good this week?

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Currents | May.

just now. on the porch. because it's pouring ... and I forgot to take this photo earlier today when the sun was out.
Are you finding it hard to believe it will be June next week? I am. and I guess that means it must be time to share a little slice of my life. right now.

Saying Yes to Summer! I know it's barely spring where many of y'all live, but around here, school's out Thursday, then it's Memorial Day weekend (and I'm already wearing sleeveless) ... I'm ready! (even though we had a very short spring ... I laughed out loud to read that last month, I was still waiting for it to arrive!)

Loving my unplugged mornings. I'm now several months into the habit and I don't even think about looking at my laptop until after my first (or second) cup of coffee and some quiet time with my journal and maybe a book.

Planning the next year for our Women's Ministry. Thank you for all your good thoughts about finding a new co-lead; it hasn't happened (yet). My first meeting as Moderator is June 3 - and I had a little panic attack this morning when I realized that was NEXT weekend (such is the life of a retired business woman, I guess 😉)

Eating more than "just snacks". I read Marc a few of the comments from yesterday's post and he said "well, it is still a lot more vegetables than protein" to which I replied "as it should be". Saturday night we roasted fish and made "fish taco salad". Sunday night he made edamame pasta salad with broccoli, spinach and tomatoes. (and um, yeah, we haven't been to the grocery store since the week before last.)

Drinking grapefruit juice and tonic (with gin).

Watching The Americans (we should finish Season 2 tonight) and Patrick Melrose (I watched Episode 2 today - Benedict Cumberbatch should win all the Emmys for his performance and I do think the rest of the series shouldn't be nearly so dark ... because I've read the books and Sara promises the script follows pretty closely).

Needing a really good landscape plan (and an excellent contractor to execute it). We've lived in our house for nearly six years and we've been putting up with what the builder installed. It hasn't aged well (the front beds are overgrown and the backyard is a mud puddle). Now that Marc has time, we're ready to fix it. But whoa, it's been hard even to get someone to come out to look. We met this morning with the guy who helped with our old house and we're hopeful.

Wanting to find a really good match for the "book that matches a WIP" for the top left corner of my Bingo card.

Looking forward to seeing Sara next month!

Enjoying morning walks at the park with Lauren. or to the lake with Marc.

Remembering all the Memorial Days I spent with my family; we're changing up the family reunion to be Labor Day this year. I cannot remember the last Memorial Day weekend I spent at home. wonderful memories. new traditions.

Hoping (again) the upcoming election season doesn't get as nasty as I think it might. After today's primary, we'll likely have at least one unpleasant runoff ... and then it will be full-on campaigning until November. ugh. ugh. and ugh.

Wishing that the weather improves enough so Marc can play golf. I do love having him around, but all that works best when he can be gone for a while, too.

Saying Thank You to all of you for your tremendous response to this year's Book Bingo!!

What are you Saying Yes! to right now?

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Monday, May 21, 2018


This one included a lot of knitting (which I'll share on Wednesday) and a surprising number of other good things. Thankfully, I even remembered to take a few photos:
We got the weekend off to a FriYAY start with an evening walk beer and then snacks. I was up early to watch the wedding festivities (that middle photo is the first one I snapped 😀) and Marc joined me in plenty of time to see the royal arrivals, the dress reveal and the ceremony. We both enjoyed the whole thing (and even rewatched highlights a few times). The TV was back on Saturday evening for the very muddy Preakness and I love that we have a Triple Crown contender! Yesterday morning the sun was shining for my morning walk; the daylilies are in full bloom and almost glowing in the sunshine. In the afternoon we attended a special party - a tea (complete with scones, sandwiches, my two favorite toddlers, a host of other family members and of course pearls and hats) for an 80th birthday celebration.

I hope your weekend included good things, too - please share!


Friday, May 18, 2018

FO Friday | Edie.

Happy Friday, y'all! It feels like it's been the longest week, and I still have things left to-do on my list, but one thing I do get to cross off is five days of blog posts ... and finished Edie photos!

I'm really pleased with the length now (and so happy I spent the eight-ish hours to fix it).
Ravelry details here 

Isabell Kraemer is one of my favorite designers - great shapes, fun details and well-written patterns - and Edie delivers all of these. Isabell wrote the pattern to use a 100% linen yarn (the lovely Quince & Co. Sparrow). She says she added the slip-stitch stripe detail - barely visible in this photo - to combat linen's tendency to bias. I used a 90% merino/10% linen blend (Madelinetosh Dandelion); and while my swatch biased like crazy, the finished piece looks ... fine! Go figure.

The only modifications I made to Isabell's instructions were to work Sunday Short Rows (this is my go-to short row method and while Carol says she doesn't recommend them when the short rows are worked just one stitch apart, I did it anyway and it worked fine) and to bind off with a size up needle. If I'd paid closer attention to my row gauge, which was a lot bigger than the pattern suggested, I would've known to knit a lot fewer rounds the first time around. (you'd think I'd know better!)

When I chose this spot for the photos, I had hoped you'd be able to see the beautiful irises blooming behind me. Sorry about that! Here's a photo I took yesterday afternoon and there are even more blooms today.
I'm so glad it's #blueskybloom season again!

Wishing you a wonderful weekend ... that's not nearly as stormy as the weather folks are predicting 😀.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Three on Thursday | Haiku.

Joining in with Carole and friends today to share a three-line poem.

creamy blooms spread wide
atop glossy green, spreading
the scent of summer

Thanks to our 90+ degree stretch last weekend, the magnolias are starting to open. This tree is in the common area where Holly takes her evening walks. It smells wonderful!

Hope your week is going well ... here's to almost-Friday!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Unraveled Wednesday.

First, thank you for all your kind and supportive comments last week about Edie. I am happy to report that the ripping and re-knitting was worth it ... and I hope to have finished shots to share soon.

Joining in with Kat and crew today to share another - much less traumatic - knitting report.

This is the Purl Soho Tonal Blanket that I'm knitting for Sara. and planning to take (finished!) when I visit her in NYC next month (!!!yes! I have a plane ticket!)

As written, the pattern calls for a sport weight yarn and, reading the comments, appears to result in LOTS of leftovers. I'm making two modifications:

1. using DK weight yarn (Plucky Sweater, a super wash wool/nylon blend) so it goes a little faster (32 fewer stitches per row adds up quickly!); and

2. making each section about 11-1/4" (the finished blanket will be a little longer than the pattern suggests) to make the absolute most of the yarn I have - seven skeins of the Main Color (that's the beige, a great neutral called Twill). I weighed all seven skeins and counted rows/weighed the yarn as I knit through the first section. Now I just have to count repeats for the next four sections (with fingers crossed my calculations are sound 😨).

I also need to stay focused. To finish, I'll knit through all the yarn in that photo above plus five more skeins of Twill (about 2,400 yards on a size 6 needle). I fly to NYC on June 13. Good thing a lot of my early summer reading plans are audiobooks ... and it's kind of addictive to see how the beautiful Plucky colors come through.
I just joined the 2nd contrast color - a slightly darker shade - so pretty!

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tiny Moment Tuesday.

I snapped this photo Saturday evening. after a long day of play, dinner, baths, a tiny moment of stillness. and two little fists holding hands.

(and in case you're wondering, I'm pretty sure the TV screen that so captured their attention was showing Sing ... cute movie for kids. and their pooped grandparents!)

Happy Tuesday!