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18 posts from May 2009

29 May 2009

The More We Get Together

I definitely have a soft spot for Raffi in the world of children's entertainers.  I break out in warm fuzzies at the very thought of Baby Beluga, Mr. Sun, or Wheels On The Bus.  I am transported to a specific place and time -- Vashon Island, WA, 1988 (a very happy place and time) -- when I hear (or sing) The More We Get Together.  I remember singing all those songs and more -- Down By The Bay, Shake My Sillies Out -- with my kids.  If there's a soundtrack to my children's young lives, Raffi's the headliner by a longshot.

I think Mack and Addison have experienced a smidge of Raffi, but the headliner in their childhood soundtrack (so far) is definitely Dan Zanes.  Mack went to see him in concert last year and they've been waiting for a return engagement.  This year, the closest to Wisconsin that Dan Zanes will be on tour is Chicago -- this weekend, and we're going!  My BIL wouldn't go if his life depended on it, so I get to go in his stead.

Columbine2

I'm driving to Madison this evening.  My car is full of luggage, camera equipment, and chairs (I had some inspiration and a bright idea) -- I have six (6!) chairs in the back of my Saturn S(mall)W(agon) -- for a family photo shoot tonight.  My BIL did agree to that (no small miracle), and his two older sons will also be there.  You might think, "piece of cake," "it's family," "how hard can it be," but you have no idea...  I have my work cut out for me with this group; if I can shoot these guys, I can pretty much do anything!  (Any tall buildings you need leapt?  Ask me tomorrow.)

allium

I have rented a lens for the occasion.  I've been wanting to try some different/premium lenses and, since I don't have $1,000 (minimum) just waiting for something to do, this is a good option.  I have read about a few different companies that offer this service, and ended up using BorrowLenses.com -- they had what I wanted, when I wanted it, and at a very good price.  I have it for a week, shipping both ways and insurance included for less than 1/10th the price of the lens.  Bonus for me: it arrived a day early.  Double-bonus for me: it doesn't have to be returned 'til the day after Maddy's graduation.

I couldn't wait to use it last night, of course.  For the camera buffs, it's a Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS.  The L must stand for LOVE!  I can already tell that it's going to be hard sending it back.  I took these photos with it, and a few others.  The top photo is wild columbine -- as prolific as bloodroot in my garden; middle is allium in bloom; below is...

evergreen-flowers

Now here's the weirdest thing.  There are two evergreen "bushes" that we transplanted from my mother's house about 20 years ago. They are very near our trash cans -- in fact, they act as a shield so the cans aren't visible from the street. I cleaned some trash out of my car when I got home from Zumba last night and there was weird orange-y "plops" of something all over the trash can lid. I couldn't figure out what it was or where it came from... 'til I looked up. Those two bushes are covered with this sort of translucent orange "flowers"(?) -- that's all I can think to call them. They look even more translucent -- magnificent, even -- because of the light (and my borrowed lens that I love more every minute). Honestly, I don't ever remember seeing this happen in all these years.  They have to be flowers because there are so many of them, but they're so... gelatinous.

OMG.  Did you catch that?  Maddy's graduating.  From high school.  Next week.  My baby.  The last one.  It's the end of an era.  I'm starting to feel a little freaked out!

28 May 2009

Quickie today

Oh, how I wish I had Rav_link Harmonia's Rings 'round my neck right now!  It's been so rainy and cold -- the space heater under my desk is set to "high power" 75F and I'm still chilled -- that I wish it was done RIGHT NOW!  I am making good progress, but alas, no photo to show you yet.

What I can say is that I'm now knitting blind and Sivia Harding has joined the ranks of Cat Bordhi and Elizabeth Zimmermann in terms of knitting vision.  It will all become clear in the end (I think), but I'm having a hard time figuring out EXACTLY how the increases I've started to make will transform the "simple" moebius ring I've begun into something that falls down over my shoulders but does not rise up to my eyeballs.

I should have grabbed another layer today, but DARN IT, on Monday it will be JUNE!  C'mon already!!

It was a busy day of running around yesterday, including a long overdue haircut (that wasn't as much of a cut as it was a trim -- and I really kind of needed a cut -- so my next appointment may need to be moved up from 8 to 6... or 4 or 5).  I found myself in a fabric store and bought a yard-and-a-half of a few different, fun prints for some upcoming projects.  I also found myself at TJMaxx and bought a new workout shirt for Zumba, which I'll have opportunity to try out tonight!  There was grocery shopping, banking and bill-paying, bookkeeping for Ali... by the end of the day, I was too worn out even for book club!  In fact, I was feeling way more tired that I should have and, since Maddy's been fighting a cold all week and I've a big weekend away, I took pre-emptive medicinal measures and went to bed early.  Well, that was the plan... I had a second wind and went to bed at the normal time.  I slept well and feel great today, except for the cold wet weather stuff.

26 May 2009

Weekend update

Clever title, eh?  My creativity seems to be at a very low ebb -- I see a glimmer now and then, so I know it's not gone forever, but I'd sure like to get excited about and involved in making something again!  Something to work on, I guess... keep working on, allow, brush up against... 

Allium

Do you TEDAngie posted a link the other day to a talk about creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert on TED that I found very interesting.  I've watched and listened to it a couple of times now.  I have seen a few other talks on TED, but always seem to forget about it.  I've fixed that now, I hope, by creating and account and should, therefore, receive weekly newsletters/reminders.  Anyway, I've shared that link many times over the weekend via Facebook and email and now via blog.  It's long, but worth it and I hope you'll watch.  While I've never caught a poem by the tail and pulled it back, I have been brushed by that "thing," and I have witnessed olé, and I think I know what Elizabeth Gilbert is talking about!  What do you think?

Allium

The long weekend was mostly low-key and relaxing, but I also managed to get quite a bit accomplished -- even some techy stuff of the sort that usually gives me headaches.

I did some weeding in the garden and feel that nice little pull at the back of my thighs to remind me that I should do it more often.  I took a very few photos while out there -- it was pretty windy most of the weekend.

Mack & Addison brought their parents for a quick Saturday-Sunday visit and they came over for lunch and a visit with the dog before heading back home.  I am SO looking forward to our train trip to Chicago this weekend.  I am hoping to meet up with my very dear friend Julie while there -- I haven't seen her in probably about 20 years.  When I moved out of home for the first time on my own, it was in with Julie and her kids that I moved.  It's the kind of connection and friendship that can endure such drought.  That said, I am so excited to see her again!

Allium

On the tech front.  Well.  I finally made the call on Friday which, in my mind, was to cancel my Wordpress blog, but really it was to find out how to get the domain name pointing back to a Typepad blog.  I am ticked that not only is it pointing where I want it to, I created a whole new sub-domain for it, too!  I am still not finished with the merging and consolidating, catching up and updates, but the Victoria-Pictoria Custom Photography blog is up and running at blog.victoria-pictoria.com!

I also learned that I could host DH's Oceans and Dreams website on my hosting account, even though his domain was through another provider... and I did it!  The only thing we lost is the shopping cart for limited-edition prints and I hope it's only temporary.  I believe we have everything in place to integrate a PayPal solution, except the actual knowledge and ability to do so.  This is the part where I'd normally start tearing out my hair and agonizing over the fact that I could do it myself if it wasn't such a twisty route getting from A to B; instead, I'm going to find someone to do it...  Know anyone?

All that and a viewing of Funny Girl, Wallander, and Glee, along with the start of a new knitting project -- Rav_link Harmonia's Rings Cowl.  Thought I'd save a little somethin' for tomorrow.

I hope you had a great weekend.  Thanks and appreciation to the fallen who make all the great weekends possible, and to those who continue to serve.

21 May 2009

Fun day

Art - You Are Here

At the beach - tiltshift

R at the tip of the Door

Cherry Blossom Bokeh, Baby

Cherry orchard tiltshift 

Backlit Cherry Blossom Bokeh

We went all the way to the tip of the Door County Peninsula -- something I haven't done in many years.


View Larger Map

We stopped at Door Peninsula Winery for some tasting and brought home some cranberry wine; had lunch -- breakfast, actually (Swedish pancakes and eggs, some with Swedish meatballs, another with sausage) -- at Al Johnson's in Sister Bay; drove all the way up to Gills Rock and over to Northport, down and around to Rowleys Bay, then meandered our way back to Fish Creek where DH will be stationed for the next few days.  We helped move materials into his classroom, then went to the market for a few things to stock the fridge in his (so adorably cute) cabin, and finished off relaxing by the creek and enjoying a root beer float before dropping him off and heading home.

Maybe I've been going up too late in the season and it's the crowds that make me cranky, because this was a MOST enjoyable trip.  Things seemed more fresh and new or were being spruced up; there were no lines, no waiting, no traffic problems -- the calm before the (Memorial Day) storm -- it was a magnificent (if a wee bit windy) day, too, which didn't hurt.  Fun day.

20 May 2009

Spring Road Trip

YeeHAW!!  I don't know why I'm so excited about this little trip up to Door County today, but I am.  The "Door" really hasn't excited me much the past few years -- I liked it better when it was kitsche-ier, when it was artier and craftier -- there are still plenty of galleries, but it seems less so -- it's giftier now and in the worse possible imported resin-y "yard art" way.  I recall when working artists and craftspeople occupied roadside/shoreline cabins and set out their wares everyday to the delight of visitors -- it was more personable and personal, I guess, not so hoity-toity art-wise, or cheap gift-wise.

Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, it was last July that Katie and I were up there for some reason and I was photographing "rows" of things.  While you can see a few red spots in the trees, the cherry crop was dismal last year.  Today, I'm hoping for Door County cherry blossoms!

IMG_0832-2 

I had a wonderful, kind of last-minute, non-knitting meet up last night with Angie, who is working in my area this week.  We talked about knitting -- a lot -- and showed our knitting, but neither of us knit a single stitch.  We had coffee and dinner and talked, talked, talked!  It was a great time and I'm glad we could do it, Angie!

The Dancing With The Stars Finals (spoiler alert!) was just starting when I got home, so I settled in and holy smokes, I was definitely surprised (in a good way) at the ending!  The season review was a little painful at times and I could have done without the "roast" thing (that just makes me squirm), but there were parts that I was happy to re-live.  One of my favorites this season was Steve-O.  I would not have given him a single thought before this show, and it was very easy to believe that he would goof off and and not take it seriously at all.  There was something so charming and endearing about him and how hard he tried -- he was so sincere (in my opinion) and I realized last night that he reminded me of a 6-year-old boy trying to please his mom, plain and simple, with a toad in his pocket, and unabashed.  I am so happy that Shawn Johnson took the mirror-ball trophy -- it was great to see her having fun (those Olympic game faces are always so serious!).  It was a fun season and I can't wait for the next -- I'm still not sick of it.  ; )

19 May 2009

Dodged a speeding bullet

I was stopped for speeding this morning and am completely flabbergasted that I was let off with only a warning.  That just never happens -- especially WHERE it happened -- plus, I was admittedly going pretty darn fast.  So, WHEW!  What could have set the tone for "Vicki's" Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day actually Made My Day!

Before Katie started tossing chips all over the other day, I was walking around the yard with my camera and getting some clicks with the zoom lens on.

Wild Geranium

Wild geranium -- not a perfect specimen, but one of my favorite wildflowers.  I love the greens in this photo, too.

I spy...

I unexpectedly, but very happily, spied some lilies-of-the-valley!  I figured I'd see some buds, but didn't think I'd see flowers.  Believe you me, I could smell them, too, and there will soon be a lovely little bouquet in my kitchen!

Allium bud

Allium... I should plant some more of these.

I am so excited!  Tomorrow promises to be the best day of the year so far, weather-wise, and I get to drive up to Door County!  I'm driving DH to Fish Creek where he's teaching a 3-day Watercolor workshop at Peninsula School of Art this weekend.  (If you're interested, last I heard, there was still an opening or two.)  He doesn't actually have to be there 'til late, so we'll have much of the day to just tool around.  There ought to be orchards in bloom, forest floors carpeted with trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit, general spring loveliness!!

18 May 2009

What's up?

Katie came down to the lower garden as I was shooting some flower photos yesterday.  I thought I'd shoot her, too; she just had her hair cut the day before Mother's Day, it turned out pret' near perfect, and she'd mentioned having a reference photo taken.  Well, next thing you know...

The look

...I'm getting a look.  You can just tell there's something up, can't you?  Then...

Chips on the ground

...she threw the corn chips she was eating on the ground.  She picked them up...

Chips in mid air

...and did it again!

* * * * *
The weekend was mighty fine.  Mom and I watched the little boys yesterday morning during the graduation ceremony.  The celebratory family dinner on Saturday was fun and there was lots of great food, including the best tiramisu I've ever had.

Cream Cheese Love

That's Addison's cream cheese handprint on my sweater.  He left traces across my entire back, trying to sneak around behind me, ending with this nearly perfect print in the area of my right shoulder.  He was pretty involved with the eating of a bagel with cream cheese on Saturday.  Heh.  That I gleefully took it outside for a blog photo before throwing it in the wash makes me think that perhaps the blogging mojo hasn't completely left the building after all.

16 May 2009

Saturday!

Mostly cloudy

It looks kinda nice, but it's very windy and quite chilly... for the middle of May!

Through the trees

A big bank of clouds is sitting on the eastern horizon, making for interesting light coming into the kitchen this morning.  These are taken from the back porch.  Soon, the leaves will seriously limit my view!

I'm heading off to Zumba in about an hour -- my punch card is half-used-up already!  After dashing home for a quick shower, mom will pick me up and we'll drive to "Madison."  It isn't really Madison anymore, but I'm always going to think that when I drive south to visit Annie.  There's a special celebration tonight for Mack & Addison's oldest brother's graduation from college.

Back2 Back1

I cast off the back of my Habu sweater last night.  I've kept track of the increase/decrease rows with the markers rather than writing them out.  This piece was knit from cuff-to-cuff so the second half mirrorred the first.  The piece seems seriously small, but the bejeebers is blocked out of these Habu sweaters and I think I'll do that before I start the other pieces.  It's knit on big needles with small yarn and I tried to knit loosely, so there's a LOTTA stretch.  We'll see...

Happy Weekend.

14 May 2009

Awesomeness

Sometimes Mother Nature's wires get crossed and a duck doesn't realize that the safest place to lay eggs isn't really going to work in the long run.  Thankfully, there are people like Celia and her coworkers to lend a hand and make things right.  It's an example of true awesomeness.  I love a happy ending with fuzzy ducklings!

More awesomeness in the form of some recent Flickr Faves.  The two at top left are from Kate's Greece set -- I was salivating when she told me about their experience at the cafe, the photos make me cry!  If you're interested in more of her trip, here's Rome, Florence, and London.

Todays-Flickr-Faves 

1. Greece20, 2. Greece39, 3. 62_tbird_002, 4. stand in my light, 5. just another day in tuscany, 6. parasol for an angel..., 7. 120-365 Hosta Watch 2009, 8. Forget the cameradude, let's eat before it pours!, 9. Delicate Yelllow Pansy for Project Spectrum East, 10. Buds, 11. Untitled, 12. abandoned, 13. Cupecoy, 14. Solitaire, 15. DSCF6703, 16. Digging for sand fairies, 17. Looking skyward, 18. march 13, 2009, 19. february showers, 20. signs of spring on beacon street, 21. budding, 22. Scrappy: piecing done, 23. it floats in my periphery, 24. YIP: 03.11.09, 25. .stack.


12 May 2009

I ♥ Faces


IMG_1053

This is my laughing face entry in the laughter challenge crowd this week at I Faces.  One of my favorite things about this photo is Addison's wrinkly nose!  There's a photo from about a year ago -- when he was just starting to walk -- with the same adorable, wrinkles.

LAUGHTER!!  What a great theme for a photo contest, huh?

* * * * *

Y'all might be happy to know that I threw out the bad bra last night!  I had a few minutes before Zumba, so went shopping for a sports bra -- OMG, are they all so WARM?  I couldn't stand it!  I'm a little very picky, too, about the fit between my shoulder blades -- I can't stand it if the strap only grazes that area, it starts to tickle/itch and drives me nuts!  I don't know why I thought shopping for a sports bra would be easier than a regular bra.  It ain't!  Did you see Lisa's comment yesterday about the SPREADSHEET she started to keep track of bra brands and models?  Honestly, she might be on to something!  In the end, I walked out with two tops and zero bras, but one of the tops has a BUILT-IN bra!  We'll see how it goes.

11 May 2009

Monday meandering

...by which I mean It's Just Another Random Monday, but what's the limit on using the word "random" in the title of a blog post?  I'm surely nearing the limit!

I had a great weekend, how about you?  I was a home body for most of it and celebrated Mother's Day (Weekend) in long, drawn-out fashion.  Dinner and a movie here, brunch and a brownie there, a stroll through the antique shop and a bouquet of flowers over yonder.

Katie gave me my presents when she returned from her trip last Monday -- European coffees, Greek liquor, and treats from Harrod's.  Yum.  We broke into the toffee last night.

Alison gave me a card* and a memoir by Julie Andrews, which is PERFECT because the theme for my summertime book club meeting is "celebrity memoir."  We're each choosing a different memoir to read and will make a short report to the group!

Maddy brought me a lovely bouquet of flowers, which I supplemented with bleeding hearts cut from the garden -- I'd been wanting a bouquet of them, but they play best with others, so YAY!

It smells farm-y outside today.  That may not seem surprising, given that there's a farm right across the street, but it's a TINY farm and it usually doesn't smell like anything at all!  It's very light and not altogether unpleasant.  Actually, I quite like it and would much rather smell "farm" (even "strong" farm) than many other things!

You know how you have "good" underwear in the drawer and "bad" underwear way down under or pushed to the back?  I have the same thing with bras.  I grabbed a bad bra this morning.  I can't even stand it while I'm just sitting and doing office stuff today.  It makes me fidget and squirm.  And I'm going to Zumba tonight, which makes it REALLY bad!  I made two emergency calls today regarding my bra and how I might take possession of a suitable replacement before 5:30; between Katie & Ali, I think we've got it figured out.  Whew!  What I really need is to stop at a STORE one of these days to buy a couple of sports models.

Knitting is taking a back seat.  It used to be, if there was a conflict on Knit Night, knitting always won, but that's not turning out to be the case this spring/summer -- attendance has been light in general, so I know it's not just me.  I posted a message on my knitting group's message board today -- because I'm one of the small handful of "regulars" -- to let them know that I may not be so regular in the coming months; it doesn't feel right to just stop going.  I'm knitting plenty/enough at home -- it's still my favorite thing to do instead of housecleaning -- and I'll knit out when I can this summer, but life is busy and family, photography, and fitness are this summer's priorities.

*Ali gave me a photo card from a local photographer who has product in the coffee shop.  After her handwritten Mother's Day greeting, Ali wrote a P.S.: You should make your photos into cards -- they're better than these!  She's not very objective, of course, but that comment was just the push I needed to get something going -- and maybe getting some inventory into the etsy shop I created months ago, too!  Anyway, I spent a good chunk of my relaxing yesterday going through image files for potential cards and maybe even some prints.  Thanks Al!  What would I do with my kids???

10 May 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Espalier in spring

I took the camera for a walk around the house on Friday night to see what we could see.  The espalier crabapple is looking pretty darn good.  I was pretty neglectful last year, but it doesn't seem to have suffered.  Hoping for a blossom or two -- it's on the north side of the house, so is usually quite late with the flowers.

Creeping phlox

We lost all but a tiny bit of a patch of creeping phlox on the garage side of the stone steps; it's just starting to bloom on the other side -- always a favorite.

Sowbug

I found a sowbug -- or something -- on the front walk.  Hm?  Closer??

Sowbug

(The macro les was on the camera!)  Okay.  I'll end with something pretty.

Purple bells

I had a pretty relaxing day yesterday and plans for another today.  We went to see the Star Trek movie last night and I enjoyed it a lot.  I don't think I've been to a movie since Doubt at Christmas time.

Happy Mother's Day!

08 May 2009

Happy place

Mosaic_5-8-09

1. Bike Bell, 2. Bike Fix, 3. Spinach Salad, 4. 42.5(b), 5. '70s 'shrooms, 6. Laundry on the line, 7. Stacks of Living, 8. Tattoo 2, 9. Better crop..., 10. I only have eyes for you, 11. Gardening, 12. Roxie loves spring, too!, 13. Sleeve markers, 14. Saturday, 15. 365.113, 16. Last summer - barberry

A "happy place" mosaic of some of my recent Flickr uploads, and some randomness (which is what this blog seems to be about lately!)...

I waved to Ellie, our neighbor girl, as she rocked the front porch chair when I drove by their house last night.  By the time I pulled my car into the garage and went 'round to retrieve groceries, she was standing there -- full of glorious, gap-toothed, first-grade cuteness from tip to toe.

Within 30 seconds, I learned that Ellie's bike was broken and that it was her brother Joe's fault.  He was supposed to move her bike to the side of the garage and "he just threw it there!"  Their mom, admittedly, doesn't know a wrench from a pliers, so Lord only knows when it would get fixed.  A 6-year-old needs her bike!  DH was getting the grill going, and told Ellie to bring her bike over so he could take a look while the coals warmed up in the BBQ flue.  It was a pretty easy fix to reconnect a brake cable.  Yay!!  Her bike bell -- a red pepper with a crinkle-cut carrot slice striker -- tickled me no end.  Crinkle-cut, even.

I had the most delightful salad at the coffee shop on Wednesday.  Ali has added some new, seasonal salads and sandwiches to the menu, as well as a summertime beverage menu.  I opted for tomatoes instead of red onion and nixed the bacon bits and oil, dressing it with only a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Yum.  I lingered over the salad and cut the time for my walk-in mammogram quite short, but they were very efficient (and happy that I was there) and I was in and out with plenty of time to walk across the hospital to my doc appointment.

"I've just been reading some ancient history," she said as she came in, my folder open in her hands.  She's the OB that delivered Ali and and it's probably been close to 22 years since I last saw her.  Insurance dictates, mostly, are the reason for that, and then I'd kind of forgotten about her until her name came up in conversation with someone else a while back.  We're pretty close in age and and that's kind of important to me right now.  Barring any concern over test results, I'm normal and doing well.

The other dreaded C-word -- colonoscopy -- came up and I've been given a referral.  Blech.  Dang, it's just a bit too late to enter the Colonoscopy Sweepstakes!  The biggest surprise was at the scale -- at 2:00 in the afternoon, fully clothed (except for shoes), with both breakfast and lunch under my belt, I weighed a good 2.5 pounds less than on my own bathroom scale first thing in the morning, nearly naked, before consuming even a sip of coffee!  Hm.

My Mother's Day is going to be pretty quiet -- my mother will be gone, DH will be at an art fair in Marshfield, and two out of three girls will be working.  This is not an altogether bad situation.  The weather isn't going to be that great, so I think it'll be a fine weekend for knitting... and maybe a movie!  I haven't gone to a movie in ages and it feels indulgent.

Happy Weekend!

07 May 2009

You've got a friend

We've been dealing with some tragedy in these parts -- the loss of one of Maddy's classmates last Friday and then the discovery of another today.  It's a good time to fall back on The Power of Friendship.  It's what I told Maddy to do when she called me today and said that she just couldn't face school this afternoon -- go cry and scream and do what you need to do, then go find some friends and be together, be there for one another.

There's a funeral tonight.

It's going to be a tough week.

Mother's Day on Sunday.

Damn it.

Hug your kids.  Every single day.  Get one in return.

06 May 2009

Hanging in there

Laundry on the line

Any day I can hang clothes on the line is a good day!  There are sheets, a light quilt, a couple of dishtowels, and mostly napkins.  The napkins get a little stiff when they're hung out to dry, but they fold so nicely (and soften up quickly when unfolded and spread across a lap).

It's going to rain today.  I'm determined to make it a good day, anyway, even if I do have a doctor (gyno/physical) appointment... and will also have a mammogram.  Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am; let's get it all done in one day!  Today happens to be Walk-in Wednesday at the Breast Center -- something new -- and don't you just love that?

Stacks of Living

The focus was on the upstairs kitchen when Ali came over the other night.  There are regular cupboards over the counter in there, and then a row of small ones above.  My heart sunk a little when I opened one of those way-uppers and discovered a forgotten stack of Living.  The everyday occurrences of my Life got in the way of my recent bout of de-cluttering my Living, but that rediscovered stack provided the impetus to Get A Move On.  Before you are stacks of Living dating back to 1998, I believe, [ETA: make that 1992-93] all but the most recent.  I have kept a very few, torn apart even fewer, and photocopied a few more.  Now... to get them outta here!

'70s 'shrooms

Also unearthed... I believe this is one of my first stitchery projects, ca. 1970.  'Shrooms were big in decor then.  We lived in a ranch house for a year after my parents split and I remember Mom making her mark on the place, doing what she wanted to do... painting the kitchen walls black... and making curtains from fabric with a black background with tan-colored mushrooms.  I actually had some of THAT fabric in my stash a few years ago -- Katie used it as inserts to flare the legs of her jeans in high school.

I struggled a bit with the Habu knitting last night and ended up ripping two or three times -- increases were looking like CRAP (and only two stitches, WTF?).  I also dropped way down to fix a split stitch that did nothing but GLARE at me all night -- every time I held the thing up, it was like there was a spotlight on that ONE stitch!  Dropping down in garter stitch is much more daunting that the same fix in stockinette and I'll admit that I gave that spotlight SEVERAL chances to shine somewhere else.  The message was clear, so I took a deep breath and dropped the stitch -- probably 25 rows or so.  The whole sweater is severely blocked in the end, and I hope the resulting wonkiness from the fix will disappear.

05 May 2009

Moo Zoo, Her New Tattoo, and Other News (Katie's home!) + Ten

Tattoo 2

Tattoo 1

She opted for the first stanza of William Blake's Auguries of Innocence rather than the whole poem -- it might have been a little hard to read.  I've been rubbing lotions and potions on this for a little over a week now.  It's doing very well and Maddy is quite pleased.

Katie's home from her trip, safe and sound, and back to work today!  No rest for the wicked, as they say.  We had a nice welcome home dinner with all the girls (and Ali's BF) last night -- heard some of the highlights of Katie's adventure and enjoyed each other's company.  It was really nice.

* * * * *

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Awesome Bands (turns out to be a somewhat formative list) (how do you choose these things?) (and are these all bands?) (rhetorical questions) (and in no particular order)

1.  Glenn Miller Orchestra

2.  The Beatles

3.  The Beach Boys

4.  Journey

5.  Kansas

6.  Fleetwood Mac

7.  The E Street Band

8.  Heart

9.  INXS

10. Duran Duran

04 May 2009

It's alive!

Ruby lives! 

This is Long Island Ruby, aka Ruby the Rhubarb!  Last year, Ann sent me a cutting from her rhubarb plant all the way from her back yard on Long Island.  When she came to visit this spring, I sadly pointed out the bare ground where it had been planted.  The other day, as I was taking another walk-through, I noticed this plant... um... looking suspiciously like rhubarb, but several feet from Long Island Ruby's spot.  Later, in general garden conversation, DH 'fessed up and admitted that he MOVED my rhubarb last fall in favor of some stupid daffodil bulbs that never even appeared (hence, bare ground)!  Risking further setback, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to move Ruby again because she will not have enough room to grow in this location -- and I'll have to MARK the spot, and mark it well!

Pan's debut

My garden statue came out of winter storage yesterday.  He's Pan, my little boy -- the only one I'll ever have!  I keep him in the back yard because I'm so afraid someone might steal him if he's out front.  I love, love, love him and his gorgeous copper pipes (thanks Maddy & Luke for tossing the original plastic ones down the hill all those years ago!) (thanks DH for doing such a wonderful job making the replacements!).  The pipes are operational and Pan has all the required plumbing in case I ever want a fountain.  Might be fun one of these years... just something simple, drippy, and gurgle-y.

I'm nearly half-finished with the back of Habu for MeRav_link  -- perhaps a pic soon, even though it's nothing but gray-green garter stitch.  We'll see.

I've been using Calorie Count the past few days, as recently mentioned by Norma, and I love it!  I love all the tracking features, especially the analysis, and it's FREE!  The program has determined that I should lose about 60 pounds and figures that I can do it by June 2010 if I limit my calories to 1450 per day and get some exercise.  (Yay, I went to Zumba again on Saturday!)  I will be very happy to lose 30 pounds, thrilled at 40, elated at 50, and over-the-moon at 60.  I think I'd have to have a party at 60!  Heh.  Here's what I've learned so far: I've been eating about 250 calories more per day than I should be if I want to lose weight; my average intake amounts to 26% fat, 23% protein, 51% carbs, and 23g fiber; a little high in the fat department.  I've been creeping up and dancing within 5 pounds on either side of a not-so-attractive number on the scale for a while now, and it's just got to start moving the other way.  Oh, and menopause totally sucks in this regard

In other news, Katie will arrive home tonight after spending the past 2-1/2 weeks in  Europe -- London, Rome, Florence, and Athens!  I can't wait to see her and hear all about it!!

01 May 2009

Eye Candy - any day edition, today just happens to be Friday

Happy, Happy 

Slip of the tongue Joy, Joy

I only have eyes for you

Have I mentioned how much I love these boys?  My sister has invited me to accompany them on a trip to Chicago at the end of the month to see Dan Zanes.  We'll be taking the train, including a leg on The Empire Builder -- and it gives me goosebumps just to write that.  We rode The Empire Builder from Milwaukee to Portland 18 years ago next month -- Maddy was so wee -- it was a great adventure with our little family and I can still hear the conductor in my head after all these years as he'd occasionally remind us exactly which train we were aboard.  Oh, and now I'm hearing Mack and his very unique way of saying, "All a-BOARD!"  It'll be a fun trip.  I'm thinking of renting a super-duper camera lens for the occasion.

There hasn't been much knitting this week, so you get recently posted photos of the boys.  I'm so frustrated with the photog blog that I'm just frozen in that regard -- sitting here waiting for an epiphany.  (It's been quite a while now and it hasn't happened yet, so maybe I need to air it out a bit.)  I'd begun a photo blog on Typepad ages ago, then an easy, hands-free Wordpress installation came along with the domain/hosting package so I decided to switch.  Then started the spam like you wouldn't believe and, hoping not to jinx things and knocking furiously on wood, I've just never had much of a problem with that on Typepad.  Plus, I know the platform, I'm a long-time customer, I'm paying for it.  I'm mad that Wordpress makes me feel like a dope sometimes and pissed at myself that I DELETED posts on Typepad as I migrated so it's going to be a PITA to retreat.  Anyway.  Just one more thing on my Month-of-Sundays list.

So what's up for the weekend?  Ali's coming over tonight for some cleaning out and decluttering.  Thank goodness.  We're going to be having a very big sale at some point in the not-too-distant future -- all three girls have so much unused, unneeded, unnecessary STUFF to unload.  As do I, oh yes I do.  So that'll be tonight and will maybe carry into tomorrow.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate so I can shake out some sheets and stuff over the edge of the cliff and hang 'em on the line.  Wish me luck and progress.  And have a great weekend, yourself!

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