Previous month:
May 2014
Next month:
July 2014

Busy-ness and distraction

Junebug was part of the airport welcoming committee last Friday. We heard the flight arrive from Atlanta. We watched passengers wait for and claim their luggage. We heard the boarding and departure of the return flight to Atlanta. But we didn't see anyone we knew! Eventually, no one was left in the baggage claim area except for us... and 23 bags circling the carousel! All but one of those bags belonged to my sister and her family and as we unloaded the carousel, they came sauntering down the hallway with a bag of fresh cheese curds. Priorities!!

Ah, Wisconsin!

Based on experience over the past almost-week, 5 months old is the very best time to be introduced to your 9yo and almost-7yo cousins! Expressive enough to be interesting, not mobile enough to be a nuisance. The big boys just can't get enough of him!


I watched the big boys for a while yesterday afternoon while their parents went shopping for a car. When they returned, I told the boys to tell them what kind of babysitter I was. They said, "The sleeping kind!" Haha. We'd been sitting on the couch and they were showing me their FIFA World Cup sticker books. I learned all about how good/bad each team was, who their best player was, and of course there were some standouts -- the best player of all, the guy who bites, and the guy most recently bitten. Heh. At some point, I'd rubbed my hand over Addy's face and he said that he liked having his face rubbed. "Well, here," I said, fluffing up some pillows, "let's get comfy." Mack got his book and we had some quiet time... and next thing I knew, I heard the boys ushering in a former neighbor lady. I don't think I slept for long, but boy I sure did sleep.

Things are getting done. At times, Monday morning seems as though it was months ago already. At other times, the sadness is undeniably fresh.




Marjorie Donovan

January 31, 1938 - June 23, 2014



The boys picked a vaseful of flowers from Mom's garden because they knew how much she'd love that. They loved their Nonni so much.


The cousins finally had an opportunity to spend some time together and, boy, would Mum have enjoyed that. They stuck like glue! It's going to be so fun to see their friendship develop and grow as they do.


Even though this morning's forecast said that it was supposed to rain all day... and for the next three or four... the sun came out! Blue sky and lovely clouds over the roof of her house. And guess what? The sun will be out, for the most part, all week. (Hi Mom.)


June 15th

So, today is my daughter's 1st wedding anniversary, the day my twin sisters were born, and Fathers Day.




A year ago today was one of the best days ever.



54 Years ago today, my mother was in the hospital for a very different -- and much happier -- reason! And, also, SURPRISE! The legend goes (and, yes, it is a legend): Having been told at her OB/GYN visit the day before that she had another month to go, and to expect a big baby boy, she was in the hospital a day later and delivered TWIN GIRLS! The hospital staff awaited placenta after Sharon (aka, Baby A) was born, and lo & behold, a half-hour later it was Karen (aka, Baby B) instead.

It boggles the mind -- almost as much as a woman who could look THAT GOOD holding newborn twins. That is my mom.


My mother is still in ICU, tweaking here & adjusting there; it takes time. And patience. And, oh, I just can't thank you all enough for your good wishes.


Happy Fathers Day to my pretty terrific husband, and dad to our three daughters. (Note to self: updated photo of hubby & daughters.)


(we did this)



Send in the juju


My mom's been in the hospital since a week ago yesterday, in ICU since Saturday afternoon. She's been undergoing treatment for cancer for the past 18 months, and complications from side effects of a new (to her) chemo treatment that was recently begun led to her being admitted with pneumonia.


There it is in a nutshell, and it seems that's all I can manage. Please send good juju, mojo, karma, vibes, wishes, love, luck, and prayers. Improvements are slow, and maybe a cosmic boost will help to boot her out of ICU in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the little dude in the photo above is Mack and he turned 9 yesterday! Can you believe it? Junah is 5 months old today, and I told him that it won't be long before he's 9... only a few thousand days! I intend to savor every single one, but they sure seem to fly by fast.

Thanks in advance for all the love.


Scotland - yum

A week later, I finally downloaded photos from memory cards to my computer... and these aren't them. I've barely had a chance to look at them. It's been a week.

Instead, these are all of the food-related photos from my phone. We found some marvelous places to eat & drink, in Edinburgh and beyond!


I loved the Fresh Mint Tea display at The Elephant House, and who wouldn't love "Cake Of The Day"? I was in need of an Americano at the time (Friday), and as tempting as Lavender Cake is, I could not get enough shortbread! Also, I did go to the W.C., as everyone must do at The Elephant House, and spent some time reading but, alas, no photos of that.



That is the perfect & delicious Deli Plate at Edinburgh Larder for lunch -- it was not the last time on this trip that I had some variation of beet (-root) mash.


Lovecrumbs was a must-do coffee break. Unfortunately, we visited quite late in the day and the selection of cakes was... zero. I had a delicious pecan bar with my latte, but still feel a little pang when I see their instagram photos in my feed. It's worth a look... beautiful food, lovely styling. *snifffff*



There was nothing to do but drown my sorrows. Cocktails at Bar Kohl - Lavender Gin for Kate & me, Grapefruit for Rusty. Quite refreshing.


We'd passed Earthy on our way to the Botanic Garden on Saturday, and that's where Kate & I chose to have lunch, while Rusty went off to meet up with an artist acquaintance. The market was just gorgeous and, oh, my kingdom for eggs like that! I can't remember exactly what I had here, but I know it was fabulous -- the menu changes frequently, depending on what's available. I think there was a poached egg or two involved; I had a little thing for poached eggs on this trip, too.


Ice cream break on the Royal Mile!


On the recommendation of one of Kate's friends, we made reservations at Field for dinner on Saturday night, and it was just lovely. From top left, Kate had Fillet of Hake with Parmesan Dauphinoise, Chopped Egg & Asparagus; Rusty had Grilled Scottish Sea Trout, Wild Garlic Gnocchi, Heritage Tomatoes, Roast Red Peppers, Anchovies; and I had one of the featured dishes, Scottish Beef with Mushrooms and Potatoes and was most certainly described/named much better than that, but it couldn't have been any more delicious.


We were in Inverness on Sunday, and Kate had scouted out The Mustard Seed Restaurant on a previous visit. It is located in an old church and was quite beautifully done. I had (starter) a Scottish salmon & potato cake, served with a roast beetroot and horseradish puree, and (main) grilled sea bass with crushed new potatoes and a roast cherry tomato & smoked paprika sauce.


On Monday we were in the Highlands... rather remote, at that, and also arriving fairly late. Not every establishment is open everyday out there, but luckily Jan & Mark knew where to send us... right down the road to Badachro Inn where we picked seafood specials off the menu board. Hello, little langoustines!

We bought cold cuts, cheese, crackers, wine & beer and had some simple late meals in the atrium at our B&B a couple of times, followed by a Scrabble game or two -- using UK word lists (a whole new world of two-letter words) -- while planning the next day's activities.


At a cute upstairs coffee shop on Isle of Skye after our trek up to The Storr. We had yummy pub food (fish & chips!) at the rustic Seumas Bar in Sligachan that day.

There were plenty of lovely meals that I didn't document. I satisfied a sudden craving for pizza with a margherita for lunch at The Steading Bistro in Gairloch, with enough leftover to help fluff up one of our at-home meals. We had a fabulous dinner at The Whistlestop Cafe in Kinlochewe -- the building isn't really going to catch your eye, but the food is fantastic (with lots of great specials) as is the staff! The cafe isn't licensed, so we were invited to BYOB, which they kindly put on ice for us.


After a Steak & Guinness pie for lunch at The Seaforth, Rusty hiked down to water's edge while Katie and I walked around Ullapool, where I was charmed by this little sidewalk eggs & tatties stand!


As previously mentioned, it was a real treat to visit Crannog Seafood Restaurant in Fort William for the second time! And it was fun to eat "American" food at Wannaburger in Edinburgh.


Here are two butts in the one-butt kitchen in our airbnb Glasgow flat; there was a third, but none of us could move! We had dinner out on one of our nights in Glasgow, at The Manchurian Restaurant, walking distance from the flat.


Pretty (and delicious) cocktails at The Voodoo Rooms!

Next up: scenery!

So, of course...

Upon returning home from vacation, I immediately went over for some grandson snuggles!


He wore some snazzy woolly footwear from Aunt Kate for his 20-week photo yesterday. Happy little pudgeroo!

I was right back to work on Wednesday for the rest of the week, so Saturday morning sans alarm clock was quite welcome.  I ended up spending the entire day in my PJs -- an unintentional but completely welcome Pajama Day! I can't remember the last time I had one of those, and I got so much done.


I even measured, wound, and dyed some yarn for Kirsten's TTL Mystery Shawl 14! I was vaguely aware that this was coming up but had little intention of knitting it... until I caved last Thursday and bought the pattern. I'm loving the camaraderie of knitting this project along with so many long-time blog friends -- it feels like a good, old-fashioned knit-along!

The project doesn't require a gradient yarn, but I didn't have 500 yards of anything else (recommended solid or semi-solid) that would work, so thought I'd try dyeing a gradient myself. I'm very pleased with the result, though it was apparent from the first dip that the numbers I'd worked out were purely mathematical exercise. I punted and all is well, with an extra hank of a medium-dark to spare, but I would never be able to repeat this exactly!

Something to work on, perhaps? For a lot of reasons, I haven't dyed in a while; I'd recently packed up and moved all my dye stuff back home so I was digging into lots of boxes to come up with everything I needed. It felt good to be back at it, and the response has been good, so who knows... maybe there's more to come.

Hope you had a great weekend!