Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday May 26th

 As you enter my yard this is the side garden along the fence.
The dark leafed plants are chocolate joe pye weed. 
They are supposed to attract butterflies.
They didn't read the book because they simply haven't called a butterfly to them in the 6 years or so that we've had them. 

You cannot see the moss rose border.  They have just been planted and need a good month of neglect to blossom and spread.
After years of having no success in those patches, we tried moss roses last year....and they took. 
The small irises were given me by a neighbor from her extras a few years ago.  This is their best showing ever. 
At the very end of the patch is a Stonecrop that another neighbor gave us last year. 

On tap for today:
more mittens to knit
leftover pasta salad, baked beans and burgers from our barbecue
and
a bike ride between the raindrops. 

That's a lot of b's.
So, in true Sesame Street style:
today's post is brought to you by the letter 
B
and the number 6. 






Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

 Honoring all those who have served and still serve. 
I'm so happy we have religious freedom in this country. 
I think of all who died in the name of that war and all wars. 
Coming to know Virginia, while Al lives there, we are able to explore our history, and stand on the soil of the battlefields. 
She lives in Norfolk, where so many continue to serve, in the Navy. 
I''m delighted to be OFF this holiday from work. 
We are having a small barbecue, with friends, today. 

 I'm reading this father's story of his baby born with Down Syndrome.  He is a doctor, so that is an interesting perspective. 
 I finished a pair of Regia sale sock yarn mittens last night. 
Then, I frogged my cashmere mittens as the after though thumb is not to my liking.   
I'll be casting on another mitten pair this afternoon. 
I like the Regia stripes and the machine wash and dry factor. 

My centerpieces for the barbecue are berry jello with Swedish fish. 
Yes, I saw it on pinterest.  
They got a bit bloated over night....
I'd suggest you make it the day you serve it. 

Wish you the day off and family time as you honor the Memories of our heroes. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Summer Lists

I love summer.   This weekend will be all about summer things I love to do and plan to do. 
Here goes:

*I'll be knitting mittens.  How many pair?  I don't know.  

*Summer is for sitting on my screened porch. 

*Nurse friend Maureen brought me a bag of her Auntie Mar's needles and such.  I plan to have Fireman help me make shawl pins from these needles. 
Auntie Mar's bag had a good little ruler and some stitch holders that are already in use. 

*I plan to knit a pair of pink mittens from Auntie Mar's last stash and donate them in her honor. 
 *Vacationing is always part of our summers. 
We are  so blessed.
This year we head to the OUTER BANKS to enjoy Allison and pals for a week. 
Channon had  a hand in this! 
We are renting her aunt's cottage. 
I plan to see the wild horses and take a horse tour. 
*This year will be different as I have begun to bike ride.
There will be few walks, but many rides. 
Perhaps, Just perhaps, Fireman and I will do an organized ride. 
Tomorrow is Bike the Drive, where the Lake Shore Drive is closed to automobiles for the event. 
We are not doing Bike the Drive, but I do want to bike the lakefront this summer. 

*I need a summer hat.  I just want a baseball cap that doesn't look goofy on me.  I need sun protection. 

*Summer is for Storms and I love them.

*Summer is for porch time with pals. 
My nurse friend Helen, from Ireland came for a glass of wine on the porch last night.  I so enjoy our friendship. 
She has wisdom and clarity about my mom. 
So helpful!

*My television watching goes way down in summer. 
I catch the weather and sports but would prefer the radio. 

*I love to cut the grass in the summertime. 

*My roses are my focus this summer. 
You'll be seeing lots of them, I hope.

*I like to play card games on the porch. Perhaps Izzy and Zach will indulge me.

*I would like to improve my putting this summer. 
I never work on this part of golf and it is fun and easy at the driving range.  I probably won't even play a round, but I will putt. 

*Last for today:
Summer is for happy ....it is my first summer of retirement and I'm overjoyed. 


What makes your summer happy?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mitten Finish

I give you the ShiBui Mittens....
Although it looks as though the thumbs are too small, they are in fact good sized.  The gusset is started in the SUMMER CAMP variegated color way and finished in navy so that creates the illusion. 

I was inspired by Dee who knits some of her socks with a solid cuff and heel and toe. 
Thanks Dee! 

There is a Ravelry community that collects mittens for kids in need and this pair is going along with others. 
I wanted them BIG because some kids are built bigger and need warm hands as well.  
The yarn was pretty had had some nice give to it. 
Do you think I should tag the mittens with a hand wash sign? 
 My Columbine are blooming.  Someone told me they are the symbol of the Holy Spirit.  Love that. 
Baby Fezzik has the laundry gene....

Happy Friday blog pals!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Outside the Lines

We all start somewhere, and here are my cosmos seedlings. I hope they will be tall and beautiful come August. 

*****

 Many thanks for all the prayers for my Mom. 
You are the best! 
I watched, STILL ALICE last night. 
What a fantastic movie. 
It may seem like pouring salt in the wound, but I was ready to watch it. 
I want to learn about this disease of the brain. 
The good news, of course, is that knitting is a great brain activity! 


There is sidewalk chalk art appearing in town, now that the weather is improving. 
I love seeing what children draw, don't you? 
When I worked in the NICU siblings often colored the funniest, sweetest things for their new babies.  We hung these little masterpieces on the isolettes. 

What with all the technology we surround ourselves and our children with, there is something so good about a child's drawing. 
They say it is good for a child's self esteem, to draw.  
Good for the motor skills. 
Great to have something to GIVE someone. 
I was always fascinated by the public television shows that TAUGHT you to draw or paint.  
I can watch someone else paint or draw comics with great fascination and admiration. 

I know I've told you that the only "D" I ever  got was in art! How do you give someone a D in art? 
Don't you get a C for just trying? 
What? Did I color outside a line something?
I'll admit I had no patience for WORK books as a kid.  It was just pages to breeze through.  I probably got the D for rushing through a project. I remember the anxiety I felt at the beginning of the year when we had 26 files to get through.  It was all about finishing and finishing those boring phonics worksheets fast. !!!

I think I was color challenged too. 
I remember thinking (in College!) it was fine to wear a red  shirt with a maroon skirt.  I thought they were in the same family,  so they must go together. 
This is what years of wearing a UNIFORM does to your imagination....

Where is this going?
Well, I think I love color because my world was navy and green plaid for 10 years.  Two years of high school were sanctioned light blue and navy skirts. So twelve years of blue. 
OH! 
I've always loved blue....
I still do. 
When I see Navy and Kelly Green however, 
I see:
Parochial school. 

Back to the drawing board:
How do I color my world with confidence now?
I copy what I Like. 
Our whole kitchen scheme is copied from a magazine photo.
Hey its really pretty.....and why re-invent the wheel? 
Just copying it correctly is work enough for this "D" student! 

I'm off to knit some mittens now,
in a skein of yarn with a color way called, 
Summer Camp. 
You guessed it, 
it's blues and greens! 











Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Much Needed Joy

 Fezzik has come at a time when I need to laugh. 
And I do. 
He's growing by leaps and bounds...and I mean that literally. 

My mother has been placed in skilled care for her Dementia.
I treasure visiting her, but I leave and sob. 
This disease, as so many of you know, robs her of so much. 
If you pray, please pray for my mom, Noreen. 
I pray that those who dress her and feed her are kind and good people.  I know I cared for sick babies for many years with the tenderness that they were my own.  I pray for the same for my mom's caregivers. 
 On with knitting and the joy it brings me.
Another mitten.  I copied Dee's sock strategy using solids for parts of the construction.  This is my biggest mitten so far. 
I think I have determined which charity I'll send them to in the USA.  More on that as More mittens get knitted. 

My family loves Irish Soda Bread. I ran out of raisins and used dried raspberries....pretty much came out wonderful. 

What brings you joy when you are melancholy?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Blue Skies Monday

 We had a beautiful May weather day yesterday, so we went bike riding. 
We saw a horse named Hank, and a baltimore oriole. 

The skies were gloriously blue.
My new seat made my arse feel fine for the entire ride. 
I also borrowed Fireman's riding gloves and you know what?
My hands did not fall asleep once on the ride.
FYI: the Des Plaines River Trail.

I used to think, as a child, that all of our water was polluted. 
Yup really.  Now, I know we have sandy/muddy bottomed rivers and that makes the water look dirty even when it isn't. 
I thought people in other parts of the USA just had blue clear water because they were cleaner. 
The river at its most shallow looked very clean and clear yesterday. 



 We  enjoyed the day to it's fullest,  and I treasured how lucky I am to be retired.   We never touched the ground so I did not have to worry about ticks.  The trail was  crushed gravel and nice and wide. 
We have lots of ticks in this area, and I do not like them one bit. 
Huck used to get ticks often and once in awhile we would get one too.   If I so much as saw one crawling on me, I itched for days. 
So, yet another reason to like cycling. 

If you noticed how flat our land is, well you are right.
That's how I like to ride, on the flat with the wind at my back. 
*****
Thank you ALL for the great ideas for my mitten tip finishes.
This community of knitters is so helpful. 
I knew if I asked,  you would all step up and share 
the answers. 
 I will be inside with the heat on today, as we are 30 degrees cooler today than yesterday . Ahh Chicago Spring, it is a fickle thing. 

*******
How's your weather today?
As you like it?
Will you knit inside or out? 







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