Sunday, December 14, 2014

Busy as a Bee

Well, I finally got my Olive Twist Shawl blocked and when I wore it to school I got many compliments (which I agreed with--It is really pretty!)
I like wearing it more so that the pointy part is forward.  It looks great that way paired with a dressy denim jacket.  Thanks Ms. Micawber  for this excellent pattern!

I also finished knitting and blocking this Shawl Collared Cowl, my first "real" knitting project in that it included increases, decreases, button holes, and short rows.  What a lot to learn!  And it turned out pretty good.  Crochet experience certainly helped.

And then finally, I made this hat.  I loved the color work.  Thanks to Little Woolie for her tutorials on tapestry crochet, or I would've had a much harder time with this.  I liked making this so much, I am going to make another one with different colors.

I guess I've been pretty busy with the yarn this fall!  I don't know what has gotten in to me.  True, I have not baked much or even cooked dinner all that much, or done at home grading.  I haven't read too much either.  I have been rather addicted.  Ah well, it's a cycle I guess.

Now though, to prepare for the last week of school before holidays.  Always like keeping ponies in a stable!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gray Days

Mostly it has been gray and wet.  The kind of weather that makes me want to stay in bed and listen to the rain, or read a book snuggled up in the covers.
I love gray weather, fog, and naked trees.

This is one of my favorite plants.  Anyone know what it is?

Here's someone with a sense of humor!

I remember I was so bad at Atari games.  My brother would entice me to play by letting me have the  first turn, but I was so terrible, I would get out right away.  Then his turn would come up and he was so good his turn went on and on.   I'd get bored and leave the room saying, "Call me when it's my turn."

By the time he called I would be involved in something else (probably reading a book), and I'd just yell back, "Nah--just take my turn."  

So he would end up playing alone. 

I just didn't have the interest or drive or whatever it is for video games.  I still don't.  I see people playing games on their phones now, and I just cannot do that.  Nope.   

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Here is the sum total of my sewing supplies:

Haha!  Not much, is it?  Well, I am not much of a sewer.  I can mend, but in a "make-do" sort of way.  Part of my coursework in college involved putting in hours in a costume shop.  The girl there sat me at one of those complicated industrial sewing machines that's all huge spools and threads going every which way and gave me some things to hem.  Well, when she came back by some ten minutes later, she found me with needle and thread hand stitching.

"The machine intimidates you," she stated.

I made a face and she took the stitching out of my hands and told me to go hunt up twenty-five pairs of white ladies gloves from the costume vaults.   I went--willingly! (She was brewing up a vat of tea and was going to pitch the gloves in to stain them ecru.)

I spent the remaining required costume hours backstage helping a fussy little actress in her quick changes between acts in I forget what play.

My sewing box is a white box librarian people might recognize.  It was swiped from a closet near the check-out desk at the college library. A good friend found the door unlocked and the closet stacked to the ceiling with these empty little boxes.

He was surprised as I was.  "Want one?" He asked, smiling.

I shrugged, "Sure!"

And I've had it ever since.

Inside, there is only one real treasure.  This:

Now this is an old object.  It belonged to my mother.  Imagine a grocery store needle holder she probably picked up (in Colorado Springs?) without ever imagining that some half century later her daughter would still own it! (or maybe it even belonged to my mother's mother).

Truly the little foil hole-y place for the needles is used up, but I would never throw this out.  Imagine--Cragmont Soft Drinks "In convenient cans"!  Hahaha.

Do they still even make Cragmont?

When I was a kid we didn't really ever have soft drinks at home.  We took them camping--all of us kids calling dibs on our favorite flavors--wild berry, cream soda, lemon-lime, grape--

Ah well.  Just a little tumble of memories this post.  While in my day-to-day I am trying to get organized for back-to-school and decide on which project to embark on after I finish my knitted shawl collar.  I'm tired of shawls and scarves and am ready to try for a sweater, though I don't think I can knit one yet.  Hmmm.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Thanksgiving this year was really pulled together at the last minute.  In the past, I have enjoyed cooking a big meal--putting everything together from scratch and hosting lots of people.  I've even enjoyed hosting family pot-luck style Thanksgiving dinners.  As my in-law's have aged and I've taken up rather exhausting full-time work, these past years we've gone out for Thanksgiving, which I've enjoyed as well.  (It's always nice not to have to do the clean-up!)
This year, my mother in-law was recently moved to assisted living in not so great condition, and her husband is feeling down and out and isn't doing so well himself.  Neither of them was much in the mood to eat.  So I wasn't sure what to do.  It seemed easiest just to host whoever was available to come to a simple turkey dinner, so that's what we eventually decided to do.
The morning light was lovely! I just had to get a snap of the table and the way the light filtered in through the windows.

The turkey platter belongs to my mother-in-law, but came to live at my house a long time ago when the turkey's started to be cooked here.  I just love it!

After lunch, the weather turned gray (which I don't mind--it feels so wonderfully November-y to me), and we went off to see my mother-in-law and bring her some homemade cranberry sauce none of us can ever quite get enough of.  This year, I don't know if she will be able to eat it.

It was a quiet, slow day, the way Thanksgiving days so often are.

Then, today, we avoided the slam and crash of shopping deals and meandered around the corner to an Ethiopian restaurant.

I'm on the wind down of the holiday, not having accomplished half the things I had hoped to do, but feeling relaxed and thankful just the same.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Cloudy Day in the City

I thought I had a haircut appointment today, but when I showed up at the salon the girl there told me it wasn't until tomorrow.
So--what to do?
Go out and take a few photos, I decided.  Even though the light wasn't great, it was still fun to scoot around and take some snaps of this and that.  So nice to be off work!

When my oldest son was a little boy, he went on a school trip to see this capital building.  At night he would lay awake trying to figure out a way he could get the gold off the dome! Even when it explained that it would practically be impossible, that it was really thin gold, that he would get caught, that it was illegal, and dangerous (!), and that all of these were reasons it was still there, he would puzzle it and puzzle it night after night trying to think of a way he could be the one who finally got some of that gold.

It's so funny to think of that now.

Thank goodness he did not turn out a criminal because he is very smart and very determined.

I hope you are all having a wonderful November!  I'm looking forward to putting up several more blog posts this week--quite unlike my usual.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sunday Night Out

Fog slunk into the city Sunday afternoon, then drizzle, and finally enough rain that we needed an umbrella.  Though that was well after nightfall when we came out the side theater door.

Here's the band near the end of the sound check, before the doors opened.

While the DJ's and the bar and the merch and the ticket people set up, I tried to be inconspicuous.

We wandered through the cold.

And found ourselves in an uncrowded Indian restaurant that seemed to be doing a load of take-out business.  I didn't take a picture of the food, but it didn't last long anyway--mango chutney, dal,  chicken tikka, and lots of yummy warm naan.

Then back past the Turkish place and into the show.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Living in the Woods

This weekend was one for the real colors of fall--yellows and gold and orange.  I had hoped to go into the hills again, but with my lame foot, it just isn't going to happen.  So, I've been soaking up the trees along the highway and those here in the neighborhood especially, as the sun touches everything a little more softly.  Fall is my favorite season here.  There are just so many trees!

When I first came here, I arrived at night--probably well after midnight. In fact, our car broke down on a six lane highway and we had to scramble over a concrete embankment to one of the only open buildings in the city--a hospital--to make a call for someone to come get us.  So, when I woke in the morning and looked out the window, I was amazed.
"You live in the woods!" I exclaimed to my boyfriend, who laughed.

And it still is the woods to me.  And the little oak floor house of ours feels like a cabin.  Really.

I finally got my leafy scarf blocked and maybe this is the first time I've actually had something finished for the season it was meant for. A definite record!

I just had to take have these shots with the leaves even though the scarf pattern doesn't show so well.

In the garden there are still a few struggling peppers and the marigolds.  My chrysanthemums have scraggled out, but these store bought ones have kept on and on and their welcome pink feels a bit refreshing after so much gold.