Grand

The days have been an almost constant gray of rain clouds. We're near a record number of days with measurable precipitation and we're a tired of feeling wet and soggy. BUT, Monday, while it did rain in the morning, the sky was a clear and the clouds played in the amazing blue field while we relished the sun. 

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Carole asked us to share, for ToT (Ten on Tuesday), some of the things we did over the long weekend, the weekend that is the kick off to summer! Summer is my season and I loved having three days off to relax, play, and spend time with my guy. 

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1. We kicked off the weekend Friday night by having dinner with friends. Next time I'll order the delicious Basil Lime Gimlet Cheryl had. (Oops, bad photo)

2. First thing Saturday morning I blocked my shawl and I am thrilled with the colors and the size of this mystery. The shawl is huge and beautiful.  More to come!

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3. As soon as the shawl was pinned out I headed for the nursery in case there were any crowds to beat, It was totally unnecessary, as it was RAINNG once again. I picked up plants for my carport flower boxes and seeds for a new crop of lettuce and planted between rain drops. 

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4. Saturday evening we enjoyed a Bees baseball game and, as luck would have it, the rain stayed away.  As we left the the stadium a fireworks show started and we saw one of the best fireworks shows I've ever seen. The day felt like a true kick off to summer. Thank you, Susan.

5. Sunday I made myself breakfast in bed. Tea and oatmeal with a large handful of blueberries.

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6.  As soon as I decided to get up and moving (around 8:00) I took snapdragons to my mother's grave (she loved yellow snapdragons), ran a few errands (groceries for the week), then spent the afternoon in the garden helping Rick and Allen plant  pumpkin seeds for the children. 

7. Sunday was an SnB day and I had time to visit with Cheryl, the only other knitter who was free on this Holiday weekend.

8. That night Smith and I grilled an all American meal of (grass fed) burgers, asparagus and garlic scapes, with a dessert of vanilla ice cream (coconut milk ice cream) topped with blueberries and raspberries. It was a treat for our kick off to summer. 

9.  As often as I could, I worked on beading my Alamaba Chanin T-shirt and even took a few stitches on my AC market bag. I am committed to this craft, as I also ordered another Alabama Chanin kit. I couldn't help myself as AC had a sweet summer sale. When not knitting, I sew.

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10. Smith and I spent much of Monday together and the first thing we did was to wander through the Salt Lake City Cemetery. We paid respect to his family, as well as many others we knew in the community.  From there we went to Red Butte Garden (the first picture of this post) and had a quick photo shoot of my new shawl. (More to come!) After that we had a nice lunch, a not quite as delicious as Lone Star taco, but finished off with churros (yes, they were GF).  How is it I never thought to take a picture? 

I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine. As I type this the sky is once again turning gray and I think more showers are on the horizon. Gray, gray, go away! 


Macro Too

When I first bought my phone I asked Vicki about lenses for the camera and she pointed me to a clip-on set that was dirt cheap inexpensive enough I felt I could take a chance on it.  I wanted to see how lenses worked. I wouldn't say they were a great buy, but they have given me a chance to try my hand at macro-ing.

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It took a few tried until I could get the hang of the lens and holding the camera still (note to self-get a tripod.) We've had rain for several days weeks in a row (and we have the threat for the whole weekend). Everything is often dripping wet, and, because our house face north, the neighbor's lilies of the valley are far behind all the other spring blossoms. I am thrilled, as they have been a bright spot in the blossom faded landscape.

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By the time I'd taken a couple of dozen photos I'd been able to get the hang of the macro lens and captured a crisper, cleaner image of the the lily buds. I need to get out and try my hand at more macro shots while it is still Macro-May.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!


Pretty Yellow Dresses

Mary posted her first appearance as a flower girl and shared her pictures and memories of the dress she wore. Her post reminded me of my first appearance (at the same age) as a flower girl.  I shared my pictures and memories with Mary and she said I should blog about the dress, which was a very good idea. Thank you, Mary. 

Valene's Flower girl

I am old enough that my pictures are only black and white, which means you can't see the pretty pale sunshine yellow of my dress. The collar is white with lace trim and there is a black ribbon around my waist. The ribbon was long and tied in a bow in the back, the ends streaming almost to the floor.

I wore the dress for my Aunt Valene's wedding and I still remember that day. I remember how I loved walking around in a floor length dress (my first) and how I loved the bouquet (which I had possession of only for the photographs). My mother made the dress (as she made most of my clothes) and I was heartbroken when she told me she had made the hem extra long to save the fabric for a second dress. (Can you see the wide hem in the photo?)

I think I remember a tantrum. 

Which as any kid (and parent) knows, does no good. The dress was rehemmed and a second dress made for my younger sister. We had matching dresses for Easter Day 1955.

Karen and me

You might have noticed my hair is shorter in this photo. I have a memory of Mom telling my grandmother she left my hair long for the wedding, but had plans to cut it shorter when we returned home.  A permanent wave would have been involved as I had, and still have, very straight hair.

I enjoy looking back at childhood memories  and reminiscing, but I wonder how close to the truth the memories are and how different the stories might be from one person to another. Memories are capricious, but they are our own. 


Words in the Wild

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Three years ago, the grade school children in a near by elementary were asked if they'd like to join our garden. The teachers and students were both very excited about coming to the garden, and the parents were supportive, too. They children can walk from the school to the garden and a different grade comes every day to care for their plot. The parents have helped the children care for the garden throughout the summer months  by making sure the kids can stop by and do right by the plants. They have all gladly signed up to become a part of our community.

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The children paint signs and rocks to mark each area they plant. They learn about bees, birds, and lady bugs and how important they are to a garden. They paint signs to welcome and encourage the bugs to stay.

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One of the best things about sharing our garden with the community at large is to bring an understanding of the process of growing and working together. We share our pathways with people who wish to walk through, we share our labyrinth with people searching for peace, and we share our harvest with everyone we can. We love to share (please ask first) and we love to teach about the process of growing from beginning to end. 


Another Wet Weekend

All weekend clouds rolled in and out, bringing copious amounts of rain. Micro climates ruled, but at times, the storms came and stayed, drenching us all at the same time. Spring has been wet, wet, wet,  and that's the best thing to happen, although I am a little tired of the days of gray. 

17040285823_f39f07e78c_oMy weekend was spend in one mad, delightful dash to another delightful dash. I had a great time with friends and even a few minutes here and there with Smith, but at no time did I think to lift my camera.  You'll just have to trust I had a great weekend.

I went to a trunk show of Anzula yarn and drooled over many a skein,  but came away yarn free. I spent time with friends, knitting friends, girlfriends, and because one of my friends had to cancel, I had a surprise dinner with Smith. 

I was able to spend time knitting and I have ONE row left on my Romi's Mystery shawl. I can't wait to show it to you. It's just lovely!

My weekend was full of good things, fun times, and delicious food at every turn. I feel fortunate to have so much love around me.  Gray days cannot take away joy.


Little Nothings

During my lifetime I've spent many hours learning various crafts and arts. I've learned at the "feet", so to speak, of many masters of any given art and had an extraordinary time doing so. For a few years I was able to afford travel to wherever it was the master might be teaching. I've been from coast to coast and border to border in the pursuit of my "art" du jour.

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For several years I studied counted thread embroidery, which is not only cross stitch, but many other techniques, usually stitched on high count fabric. I believe this piece was stitched on linen with 34 threads per inch. I loved every aspect of counted thread, from the history (it goes back centuries and leaps continents), to the techniques, to the threads, and the classes. I traveled from Plymouth, MA to San Diego, from Washington State to New Orleans. It was a grand romp.

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This little scissors holder is about 4" long, not including the tassel. The stitches used were cross stitch over two threads, cross stitch over 1 thread, buillon stitch, back stitch, buttonhole, eyelet, and four-sided stitch. The four-sided stitch made it possible to sew this little scissor case together with the green ribbon. The cap of the acorn slides up to reveal tiny scissors tucked inside and, when the cap is replaced, the button slides down to hold the top in place.

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I made many such delicacies, tiny etuis, huswufs, sewing boxes, reticules, and needle holders. I promise to share more of my "little nothings" as we called them, in the future. 


Everything Has Its Time

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Honestly, I think some schoolmaster long, long ago created the word procrastination to make people feel guilty. If you put something off until it's too late, that's a completely different subject, but putting things off until "the last minute" is just the way some people work best. Some like a certain amount of pressure, perhaps it makes them feel a bigger sense of accomplishment when finished, and others just do things as they come up. Does that mean one is better, one is "right", and the other is wrong? I choose not to believe that's so. It all works. Not that there is anything wrong with today's subject for Ten on Tuesday. I'm just sayin'. 

1. I've put off going to the grocery store to pick up lunch room supplies for the office for so long we now have no plates and no cayenne. Cayenne is a staple in this office and we go through it like wildfire. (Someone else picked up the cayenne because he couldn't live without it, but he didn't get the other things on my list.) le sigh

2. I haven't picked up a gift for my sister who's birthday is this coming Saturday. It's mostly because I'm at a loss as what to buy. Isn't that lame? so lame.

3. I have put off getting in touch with a couple of family members, as well as a few friends. This is also very lame. How hard is it to pick up the phone? They're in my phone database so I need not even look up their phone numbers! This is SO LAME!

4. I have put of writing a couple of letters. It's been a week since I've sent any mail, except quickly written post cards to people I don't even know. This is also very lame.

5. I have put off looking for someone to clean my bedroom curtain. It's a large piece of canvas lined with a piece of ? to work as a blackout curtain. If you like a to sleep in a dark room, I've got the place. (I have no idea what it's lined with, therefore the paralysis. Oh, and then there is the cost.)

6. I've put off planning a weekend getaway for the two of us. We haven't even decided where to go and we haven't wanted to spend the money. However, we really need a break.

7. I could say I've been putting off sewing my Alabama Chanin project and that I've put off reading the e-book I got from the library, but I decided in order to keep myself from the pressure of having too many "musts", I should simplify what I HAVE to do in my free time. (It is free time, after all and it should be about leisure.) The AC project is now tucked in a beautiful project bag and it's in the closet awaiting its time (which will be soon). One thing checked off the list. The e-book was returned to the library unread, as I can only handle reading one book at a time. Number two checked off my list.

After I wrote that post I decided to get things done and, as of this morning, many things on this list have been accomplished and I feel what's left will be checked off before long. This is now a guilt free zone.


Wet Weekend

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For over a week it has rained nearly every day, with Saturday turning out to be the coldest and wettest of all them all, as it rained all day and into the evening with only a hint of sun on the horizon at the end of the day. Since winter was so dry, and spring hasn't been much better, it's hard to complain about the abundance of precipitation. The spring blossoms have waned, the leafing of trees is in full force, and the rain only spurs on growth, giving the thirsty ground a much needed drink. 

Sunday, after SnB, I took my first trip to Red Butte Gardens in two weeks. Between my schedule and the impertinent rain, I just haven't had a chance to visit the beautiful landscape of flora.

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Dogwood isn't commonly grown in Utah, but Red Butte has a few glorious trees. The pink dogwood hasn't fared well in the recent rains, but the green blossoms of a smaller tree were showing off all their glory.  I was very sad to see the wisteria  vines that cover several of the pergolas had only a couple of blossoms survived the bitter cold of a few weeks ago.

The weekend had much to offer, as I had time to relax, to read, to knit, and to spend time with Smith.  I hope your weekend was full of joy, too!