The Catch All

Where was I when I stopped blogging? I have been a bad blogger and, for the most part, it's because I am enjoying my time away from a computer. The end of summer came and went and autumn is now in full swing. The last few days the weather has been perfection. I am not ready for the nice days to end and I hope they keep coming. In any case, I must go back a few weeks and share some of the highlights of what's been happening around here.

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First, there was our time with the Etherknitters!  As it turned out, their timing was perfect! The beauty of autumn was in its full glory with the aspens showing off against the clear blue skies and the bronzed and burnished patchwork of color covering the mountainsides. To say it was a treat to be with friends we rarely see is an understatement. 

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Smith and I took our visitors up and over the mountain to our favorite spots. We had breakfast at Silver Fork Lodge (of course) and a delightful walk around Silver Lake (of course). The next leg of our trip was back up and over the mountains to the added bonus of more amazing vistas. We made a trip to Sundance and then, down American Fork Canyon during its most stunning time of year.

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We ended the day at another of our favorite spots, Red Iguana, which has the best Mexican food anywhere in the West (according to many). We were sorry to see the day come to an end, but happy we could enjoyed a fun time with truly wonderful friends. 

 Then...

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...there was a little thing we call The Retreat (The Alta Knitter's Retreat), which is a chance for knitters to come together and hang out, eat, drink and do anything else they can think to do.

The beautiful blue skies and autumnal colors of the previous weekend, came to an abrupt end Thursday night and, by the time I arrives Friday afternoon, the weather had turned cold and blustery. Snow started to move in and by Saturday morning we woke to about 8" of snow on the ground! The white snow and golden leaves made the views all the more beautiful, when you could see them, as the low lying clouds and fog often obscured the mountain.

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However, nothing could dampen our spirits. 

We stayed cozy and warm inside and had a great time drinking a little,  snacking occasionally, and spending a lot of time knitting, talking, and laughing. There was even some yarn buying, which I'll share with you later.  We did not lack for entertainment as Anna, one of the SnB grrls, introduced us to Korean facial masks, which provided a large amount of raucous laughter. Cheryl took a video of me during my bit of self-pampering, but you'll have to go here to see it as videos make the blog go boom. (Thanks, Kym!)

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After two days of cold, snowy conditions, the skies cleared and Sunday afternoon we enjoyed an hour or two on the deck. It was the perfect ending to a incredibly fun weekend. 


Knitting and Reading (Because I Do Not Do Football)

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Kat's KAL ended on Labor Day, but my TTLM (now known as Thistle Rambles) did not meet the deadline.  A couple of weeks ago, while admiring my work of, I noticed a section that wasn't like the picture of Kirsten's shawl. It was then I realized I would have to take out ALL of clue 5 (because I had not read through it thoroughly enough) and reknit. I am very grateful I hadn't yet started the beautiful, but time consuming, picot bind off. As of today, the first few picots are now in place. Wish me well!

The book, The Underground Girls of Kabul, is for my Book Group. (This month marks our 29th year together!) I am only a chapter into the book and have 300 pages to go. However, I didn't buckle down and put in the time needed to finish, instead I found other things to do. 

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I left for work a little early so I could take a picture of the sunrise. I love a crepuscular rays and it was worth giving up my reading time to capture this shot.

When I got home I cleaned the bathrooms. (It had to be done!)

I, also, worked in the garden because the weather was superb and I had to be outdoors. 

I sipped a glass of wine whilst enjoying the patio (I do drink alone). 

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And, I ended my day with a walk and pictures of the sunset, which I painted with Prisma (Caribbean).  

With summer ebbing I have to revel in the beautiful days as much possible.

 


Eye Candy Fun

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Thank you, Vicki! I'm totally in love with the Prisma app and the all the many ways it can change one of my simple photographs. 

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Love this birdhouse created with Prisma Love!

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Eye Candy created with Prisma Candy Paper Art.

I've been going a little crazy trying one effect after another. The reason I dropped was to tell you enjoy the weekend. Our weather this weekend looks quiet wonderful, albeit with a little fall in the air. As you well know, I am not ready for the summer to end and I'll take every warm and sunny day that's offered. 


Not the Last Gasp

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1. The weekend started with a night out with a girlfriend and a trip to my favorite LBS.  The Kinds English will celebrate their 39th anniversary on Saturday and I'm all about shopping at my local independent bookstore. Let's hear it for LBSs everywhere!

2. Saturday I took a little time for some personal hygiene-ing, as in a haircut, manicure, and pedicure. All summer my toes have been blue (Venice a Party?), but I opted for "O'Hare and Nails Look Great" (red!).  The toes will be bare as long as possible, which I expect will be a couple more months. The fingernails are only every buffed only, thank you. 

3. Saturday evening Smith and I went to our favorite taqueria with Larry and Cheryl. We then spent the evening playing Cribbage. We're learning. Counting to 15 is proving difficult for me. Larry is the master at totally the cards. (But, Cheryl still won all the games). 

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4. I worked in the garden and harvested an eggplant the size of a football. It was the only fruit on the plant, a plant that wasn't tall enough to keep it off the ground. This eggplant was huge and slightly soft, so I opted to harvest, even thought it was green. Smith plants odd varieties and he does not keep track, which means it may not be the type that goes totally aubergine. I'll let you know how it tastes once I decide the best way to eat it. 

5. I also made a small pot of Vicki's tomato sauce out of our ugly tomatoes. The sauce also included a few small eggplant, a couple of squash and a bunch of onions and peppers from the garden (plus, of course, garlic). 

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6. Just in time for the weekend several of the postcards I'd sent via Postcrossing arrived at their distant destinations. When postcards arrive the sender can then send out more cards. I have received 388 and sent just as many. I love this fun hobby of connecting the world one postcard at a time. 

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7. I walked around Red Butte Gardens and then, because all the cool kids are doing it, I played with Prisma, a fun (new?) app. 

8. Smith and I spent a lovely Sunday evening, and then a lovely Monday evening together. Rarely do we get two nights in a row together. This weekend we've had three! 

I guess this ends up being Ten Eight on Tuesday (by Carole).  If I tell you anything else, I'd have no reason to come back here the rest of the week. How was your Holiday weekend? 


The Bingos Revealed

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This is my not so attractive Bingo card.  If you can make it out, you'll see I have 4 Bingos and, for this, I am quite happy. Many of my blog friends have made it through to a coverall, but I just couldn't pull that off this summer. I read (as in "real books"), listened, and even got through a Kindle book, or two. 

The  best books out of all that read (and that are involved in Bingos) were: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Dandelion Wine, Chicago, Secret Scripture, Hour of Land, Love Poems, and Homegoing. I read a few books I would never have read, but I can't say I like them. Few of their genre will be on any future reading list. I have books in mind for most of the other squares, and I hope for a coverall by the end of December. Winter is dark and cold, the perfect time to cozy in with a book and read on and on. 

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However, I want you to know summer is not gone, although it's being pushed hard by autumn. I see red leaves on the mountain sides and know within the next couple of weeks we will see the aspens leaves changing from green to gold. It will soon be time to wrap up in a layer of fleece, but the change to winter is months off. I'm hanging on to summer for dear life! 


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.