When You Can Use the Word Meshuggeneh

Birdbutt...you should! 

In truth, it's been nice to not think in blog. I have one or two posts in the works, but I haven't had time, or inclination, to pull something together. We have family coming in this weekend, which means planning is taking all my energy and mental power. But then, I started thinking about Ten on Tuesday, and then, came up with a few words, I decided to play along.

1. Maddening - (Smith says I can be) It is hard for me to make decisions and Smith is usually the one trying to get me to make the leap. Colors of paint, tile for bathroom (did finally get there, but it took great effort), where and what to eat....it's all crazy making.

2. Muzzy - I am often confused, vague, or unsettled in my thinking. See above. I can "think" for hours and end up going round and round without ever making a decision.

3. Messy - When I'm working on a project I have stuff everywhere.  Only when push comes to shove do I get my act together and straighten everything up. Smith is the same way. Did I say family is coming? I hope they don't look in the closets. Something could fall on their heads!

4. Magnificent - Aren't we all?

5. Miraculous - If not for the "miracle" of modern medicine I would not be here. Over and over (3 times or more) I have been saved from certain death. I am a walking wonder.

6. Mature - As in aged to perfect.

7. Mediocre - Not great at any one thing, but I keep trying to up my game (a little).

8. Matter-of-fact - I have a tendency to tell it like it is.

9. Mellow or manic - Take your pick.  I can often go with the flow, but there are times I am anxious and on the verge of freaking, but rarely go all the way to freaking. I enjoy the mellow more.

10. Meshuggeneh - hahahahaha 


Bingo-ed!

BOTNS Bingo

I got one Bingo and I'm closing in on two more! Yesterday Carole mentioned The Gilmore Girls would be returning to Netflix. I've never seen an episode and I hope to do a little watching when they're back on the air. From what I hear, a book was mentioned on almost every episode and, as it happens, Buzzfeed has published a list  with over 300 of the books. How very lucky, as I have a square on my Bingo card for the Gilmore Girls.

This week the longlist for the Man Booker was announced and I'm enthralled. I look forward to delving into some fantastic reading, but for my Bingo square I'm considering a couple of past winners. 

My favorite Bingo books so far are The Secret Scripture (I've read this book 3 times), Mothering Sunday, Chicago, and Love Poems. I'm a fan of Irish novels and The Secret Scripture is quite a tale. I now want to read everything the author, Sebastian Barry, has written. Mothering Sunday was a tongue in cheek stab at British society. Love Poems had rhythm, wordplay, and smart use of language, which reminded me of hip-hop. Chicago has some very memorable characters, including most of the tenants of the apartment building, but Edward the dog stands out. You may remember hearing about the author as he wrote, Mink River.

Runner ups were Cocaine Blues (just for fun), Homegoing, and House at the End of the World. I'm now reading Dandelion Wine (which I read every summer or two) and I'm anticipating The Sellout, Outline, and finishing Hour of Land, which is going to take me most of August. 

I hope for more reading time this weekend as temperatures will still be around 100 or so. There are a few other plans in the works, too. Have a wonderful weekend!


Keeping It Cool (Or a Day Late and a Dollar Short)

I know I'm setting myself up for a lot of haters, but baby, I love summer! Yes, the 102 degree days and 80 degree nights are a little excessive and uncomfortable, but they are short lived. Winter is LONG and it is cold for MONTHS, so I'm not going to complain and, I know how to stay cool. 

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1. Go Up! Walking or hiking  in the canyons is a great way to stay cool, see some wildlife, and enjoy a new crop of wildflowers. Life is cooler at 10,000'. 

2. Keep water, ice tea, cold beer, and cold white wine in the fridge. And, lots of ice to keep anything you enjoy drinking cold. Hydrate. Water is best, but enjoy your favorite iced drink no matter what it is.

3. Get your housework and yard work done in the morning before the temperatures climb. It's much easier to exercise early in the day, too. 

4. Turn your a/c to a comfortable temperature and spend some time relaxing. Put your feet up and read or knit. Everyone deserve a break from activity when it's too hot to do anything.

5. Head to a grocery store (usually the coldest place around) or a movie theater (second coldest place around).

6. Don't cook. Eat something cold! Salads with fresh veggies, cold poached salmon, and ice cold watermelon (with a spinkle of lime) are my favorites.

7. Eat a rootbeer float, ice cream sandwich, or a dish of ice cream topped with something else cold. One must enjoy the flavors of summer.

8. Sit on the patio under a mister and enjoy the cool breeze and slight spray of water it creates. (I realize this may be something only a westerner would employ.)

9. Head for a pool and enjoy getting your feet wet or, even, taking a dunk. 

10. Spend time below ground, in a cave or a basement. In Utah almost every home has a basement family room and when it just gets too unbearable, that's where you'll find us. 

Utah celebrated all weekend (Pioneer Day!) and some of us (me) didn't want to come inside to play on the computer. I may be a day late for Carole's Ten on Tuesday, but I still wanted to join the fun!


Blow By Blow

Wednesday, July 13th - The Cottonwood Presbyterian, the church that allows SOUL Community Garden to use their land, had a social with all the summer foods you'd expect and a band to play oldies so the crowd could dance the evening away.

Friday, July 15th - Smith and I had a lovely evening of sushi shared with friends, Smith worked most of the weekend and Friday was his only night off. There was a lot of eating, drinking, and being merry, as befitted a Friday night after a week of work. (Not that the weekends aren't spent working, but that's a different story.)

Saturday July 16th- Lunch with a friend I haven't seen in awhile. Incredibly, I had sushi yet again and it was even more delicious (if that's possible) than the night before.  A few hours later I had dinner with another friend, but begged her to choose anything other than sushi. We took a trip to India and had aromatic, spicy, and flavorful tikka masala and coconut korma (among other things). I ate my way through the weekend and broke the bank in the process. All the food was worth every penny. Time with friends is priceless.

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Between lunch and dinner I made a quick stop at a family reunion just in time to play a few rounds of Bingo. Last year I won a couple of times, but this year I had no luck, just a great time with my sister and few members of our mother's family. Time with family is priceless, too.

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Sunday July 17th- Sunday is traditionally SnB, knitting with friends. Sometimes it's just Cheryl and I, but usually there is a group of 4 or 5, always fun. The rest of my afternoon was spent weeding and water in the garden. The hour and half I spent there it was 100 degrees (10% humidity) and I became very overheated. The watering had to be done, as plants also suffer when it's that hot. All evening I sat in front of a fan trying to cool off whilst sipping cold white wine.

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Tuesday night Smith was free!! And, we decided to spend the evening with Larry and Cheryl at one of SLCs fabulous free summer concerts. City Jazz Big Band was in fine form playing swing, jitterbug, the waltz, cha-cha, and so much more. There were many practiced dancers showing off their skills and I was even asked to dance, although I am a terrible dancer. (Smith is resolute in his desire to NOT dance.)

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When I realized the last time I'd talked to you was July 7th I was sad (and embarrassed). Life is busy, s much more happening than I've shared with you here, but nothing earth shattering, just hectic and energy sapping (physic energy sapping). Summer is slipping away, although we are in an epic heatwave, I have watched as the light changes, disappearing in the morning and the evening.

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I have been reading when I can, but the illusive bingo has not been caught. I am stuck in two densely worded books (books worth the time and effort), and looking forward to moving on to something shorter, maybe lighter, and quicker. I desire a bingo or three! The two books taking my time are The Hour of Land (Time Travel) and Homegoing (Set in Africa). Yes, I am stretching the meaning of "Time Travel", but the evolution of our National Parks fits the bill, imo.

Somewhere along the way I made a miscalculation of on my TTL Mystery. Not only did I mistakenly tell several people I was on Clue 4--I have spent a fair amount of time frogging clue 3 and I'm still not through it! I made mess of row 14, which meant some fudging had to be done over rows 16 & 18. I wouldn't bet my life on it, but it looks like I am finally on track and may make it to Clue 4 this weekend. The shawl may even be finished by the end of summer. I have hope!

Monday is Utah's Bigass Holiday! Really big! The date should actually be the 24th of July (Pioneer Day / Days of '47, etc (or Pie and Beer Day, as those of us in the "counter-culture" like to say), but because Sunday is sacred the celebration will be on Monday. I'm very happy to have a day off, no matter the reason.


Reading, Knitting, Quiet

Since the past weekend was quite busy and, I rarely got off my feet, the plan for the rest of the week is to knit, read, and find some quiet time. However, there is more that needs doing, as in order for the bathroom walls to be painted, the dust must be washed away. There is, also, construction dust all over the house and I will deal with it after the bathroom is completely finished.

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I have some catching up to do on my BOTN Bingo/Read Harder lists. I have decided on several books that should help me attain a total of three Bingos by summer's end. I have the added goal of reaching a blackout by the end of the year. Sadly, books with the plot points of fantasy, parody, or with happy endings, are not my strong suit. I expect to persevere.  I have tried to match up, as often as possible, the Read Header categories with the Bingo squares.

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What little time I've had for knitting as gone into my TTL Mystery Shawl. I'm very pleased with the pattern and my yarn choice, and I am about a half, maybe a little more, of the way through clue four. There is a LOT more knitting to do.  Carole's Picot sock is back on the needles and the toe is proceed towards its finish. I'm very pleased to say, participating in Kat's KAL has kept me focused on the job of finishing two neglected pair of socks. One must keep ones eye on the prize.


Celebrations

Time away from the blog stretched on longer than I'd intended. I feel I have many good excuses, but excuses they are. If I divide my life into sections of work, home, and family, there isn't one section that isn't in some sort of upheaval. This weekend afford time for peace, time for calm, time of love, and time to regroup. 

This weekend my family came together, from places all across the country, to celebrate Dad's life.  He taught his children to love nature, love music, to be strong, independent, and generous. All 7 of Dad's children were here along with many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Three of Dad's 4 living siblings were here (which wasn't easy) and many of their children also came. It was wonderful to see cousins I hadn't seen in quite some time. 

This weekend was mostly about Dad, but there were other things going on, too. 

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1. This weekend I listened to my family make beautiful music together. My sisters, nieces, and nephew played two of Dad's favorite hymns at his memorial service. My sister plays the harp, another sister the piano. My nieces and nephew play string instruments, and one of my nieces sings like a songbird. 

2. I listened to my sister and my nephew eulogize my father's capacity for love and acceptance. 

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3. I heard a member of the Armed Services Honor Corp play taps for my father. (I sobbed through the whole thing.)

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4. I watched the Honor Corp gave a gun salute in honor of my father's service during WWII. 

5. As the oldest child, I received the flag from a member of the Corp. I was verklempt as thank them for the flag and for their service to our country.

6.  The weekend wasn't just all about family, it was about friends, too. Sunday I helped a friend move and along with all the work there was love and laughter, too. 

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7. I admired the work of the tile guy who had set in my crazy choice of tiles for the new shower. May I just say how happy I am it looks even better than I envisioned. The contractor, and the tile guy, who were both a little skeptical, admitted it was great. There is still more work to do to finish the job. 

8.I organized and cataloged my inks, cleaned and filled a few of my pens, and wrote postcards, notes cards, and letters. 

9. I fit in a little knitting (working hard on my TTL Mystery shawl) and reading (working towards a Bingo). 

10. To finish off the weekend, Smith and I had dinner out with our neighbors, then came home to watch fireworks from our balcony--the city park to our left and the country club to our right. 

It was a fabulous weekend all around. 

Today Smith and I continue the long weekend by enjoying a day off together. We may head to our favorite spot, but we might decide to try someplace new. I'll let you know later.

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Thank you for the love, condolences, and support you have given me over the last month since my father died. I am very happy he is now at rest. I miss him and I know he would have loved the coming together of his family and the celebration that honored him. 


The Old and the New

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Maybe I'll just post a picture every day of my incredible mountain view. The light changes throughout the day, but in the morning it is often a breathtaking play of shadow and light between cloud and sky.

There are times I have made the (somewhat) arrogant statement that I do not have UFOs (which we all know can't be true) and that I rarely have more than two WIPs hanging about. It was Kat's summer KAL that got me thinking about what might be lurking in the corners of my crafting closet and, on closer inspection, I found two lovely knitting bags, each with a pair of socks tucked inside.

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Technically, I'd finished the both pairs of socks pictured, so the UFO/WIP situation may hold true, BUT, shortly after they were finished, I had to admit to myself the toes where not very comfortable. I tucked the socks aside (or, as you can see, ripped out one toe), so as to fix the fit, and then, add the pair to my sock rotation. If you are a believer in "things happen for a reason" (I'm not), you could say this is a very opportune time for two nearly finished pairs to come to light. In any case, I will now have THREE new pair of new socks to greet the wintry chill. This is very good news, indeed!

The skein of yarn you see pictured, has yet to be wound. It is Knitterly Things "Vesper" sock yarn (Carole's favorite), in the colorway Fire and Ice, which must have entered my stash around Christmas 2 years or so ago. At the moment, I seem to be on a stripy sock kick, which is good, as I have numerous choices in stripy yarn languishing in my stash. If I end up knitting this pair it would result in a 4th pair of socks for winter's rotation, but I'll wait and see how my knitting time fares. 

Are you knitting this something fun this summer? Is it blazing hot where you live? 


In My Ear

When reading an audio book, all activities are best done alone, that is, unless the person you're with is enjoying the same book. Smith and I have different taste in books and, therefore, we each have our own iPods. Usually, we only listen to books when we're alone, but it is a known fact that Smith becomes very talkative if I have my earbuds on. It is a little rude (unless you have an agreement of silence) to wear earphones when someone else is in the room. 

The best thing about audio books (or podcasts) is alone time is quality time and/or time can be spent doing duel duty. Who doesn't like to multitask? I have had an Audible account since 2006, June of 2006, which means I've been listening to books for 10 years. I don't know what I'd do without my iPod.

Ten Things To Do While Listening to an Audio Book 

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 1.Take a walk and watch the sunset (or the moon rise).

2. Clean the house. (Vacuuming may be a challenge). 

3. Take the bed apart, do the laundry, put the bed back together. Fold (the rest of) the laundry. This is the time moving slowly can feels right. 

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4. Care for the garden. Plant. Water. Weed. (Sit back, relax and enjoy your accomplishment.) Weed again.

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5. Knit up a storm (but if you need to read the pattern, stop the recording until you can pay full attention). The picture shows most of the accouterments in my knitting bag. (Side note: I love Leone Violet Candies.) 

6.Mindlessly surf the web (but turn off the recording if you're going to read something). 

7. Exercise in the way you like best (although, swimming may be a problem).  Also, I listen while doing my PT exercises.

8. Prepare a meal (alone). Even doing the dishes isn't so bad if you've got a book in your ear.

9. Do nothing (which is OK!). Just listen (it's an awesome experience)!

10. Sit on the patio with a cup of tea, or better yet, a glass of cold white wine, or a cocktail. Listening to an audio book makes everything better. 

Ten Things To Do While Listening to an Audio Book is brought to you by Carole.