Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I'm trying to figure out what "macro" does.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gardening dreams

My own garden's first blooms of spring - pretty little hyacinths!

Monday we cleaned up the front garden. We pulled out all the dead stuff and the grass that seems to grow under the snow, but only in the flower bed; planted a few new plants - dahlias and bleeding hearts; sprinkled on some plant food; and wished for the best.

I love flowers and having a garden, but I'm not any good at it. The survival rate for new plants is probably about 70%, which is an improvement. I've had a hard time learning what will grow in my yard. Despite loving the idea of using plants well adapted to this environment, I have only begun to do so reluctantly. It's such a great idea, but I'm not from here. The imaginary garden in my mind is not made of drought tolerant plants that live in harsh sun. It's a profusion of blooms just this side of neglect, a cottage garden on the verge of overtaking the cottage.

Slowly, though, I am learning what works. One day I might even have the garden I've so long imagined.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

To Market, to market, with a new bag

I use this bag more than any other. It's great for non-food shopping, as well as the regular trips to the grocery store.

Since I like it so much, and had more cotton-ease yarn, I decided to make another. This time I modified the pattern slightly to make a shorter bag. The first, though my favorite, really is longer than it needs to be for many shopping trips.

The diameter is only slightly smaller - 10 stitches, so I thought two shoulder straps would be better than one to reduce floppiness. I expect to get a lot of use out of this bag.

It is pictured with two rolls of paper towels in it. There was room for a third, but then it looked lumpy for the photo.

This side by side picture shows the difference in size between the two. The original pattern can be found here, at Knitty, a free online knitting magazine.


Inside the tropical greenhouse - palm fronds against the glass dome.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Another from the Botanical Gardens - I always think what a nice view it must be from those windows, to look into the gardens.


Japanese garden with early spring snow

The forecast for early spring is.....snow.

This was Tuesday evening's snow, on my neighbor's trees. It snowed all night and well into Wednesday, about a foot total. Spring snow here is the heaviest, wettest snow. (Winter snow is usually powdery.) Spring snow breaks tree limbs with its weight. We lost one ourselves this week, but, fortunately, it was on the scrubby shrubby tree, not the ones that provide us a little privacy in our yard.

More snow is supposed to be on its way tonight.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clutter feels selfish

I was texting with a friend yesterday about library books and mentioned not having yet read a book I checked out last month. Then I clarified that I'd returned it as soon as I realized that I wasn't going to get to it quickly. I don't like having library books out that I'm not actively reading or about to read. It makes me feel selfish. I'm convinced that I might be keeping somebody else from reading that very book. I know with the holds system they could place a hold on it, but what about those people who were just browsing the shelves and might have stumbled upon it to their delight? I'd have stolen that delight, and I'd think that every time I saw the unread book sitting in the library box.

I feel the same way about my own unused or unloved stuff, ie. clutter. Later, I asked my son to load our old wobbly kitchen chairs in the van. I was so happy to see them go! These chairs, which we used all day, every day, for meals, school, and life for 17 years, are now so wobbly that I consider them a hazard to sit upon. I've been wanting them gone for quite a while, but somehow didn't do it. Yesterday, I just couldn't stand the sight of them anymore. I told my husband they needed to go to Salvation Army where they'd be repaired* and resold. I'm not sure why he didn't realize the fixing part before, but that was news to him, and he immediately agreed that they should go.

Anyway, this is a huge relief to me for the same reason that promptly returning my library books is. It feels selfish to me to see things sitting around my house unused or unloved, when I know that somebody else would use them. I always have a bag in progress of things to give away.

It's why I love loaning things to people, too. I don't often use my sewing machine, so I was thrilled to lend it to a friend last week. So, if you need to borrow something, just ask! Maybe I'll even give it to you.

* I did try to tighten them myself a few months ago. The screws are so old that they broke inside the wood, and I can't figure out how to get broken pieces of screws out of the wood.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The old dog's new trick

Jeb waits expectantly.

Here it comes!

Open wide!

Here is one from the blooper reel: The first toss of pineapple bounced right off his nose!


365-49, 50, 51 Pine Tree

I can't decide if I'm suppose to be numbering each individual photo, or numbering by days/posts. I've done it both ways. If there is an official answer, please let me know.

I took off centered shots of the pine cones, but I still liked this one best.

Cloudy - we're supposed to get snow later today. :(

Tree bark is my copy cat of Heather's photos.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lightweight fuzzy softness

Last night, we attended the wedding of our friends whom I mentioned in this post. It was a lovely ceremony. The bride was beautiful. The groom could not stop smiling. The company and food was delightful.

I took the opportunity to buy a new dress for the wedding. I bought it last weekend. I decided I should make a shrug to go with it, because it would cover my arms and add a bit of warmth. That was Sunday. The wedding was Friday. So I went for a simple top down raglan.

Simple. Should have been simple. Should have been. Was not. This yarn, Karabella Lace Mohair, which is incredibly soft and warm and lightweight (I think I used about half the skein in total), stretched like crazy at the loose gauge I was knitting (size 10 needles). It grew as I knit, so much that I had to unravel quite a bit to get it down to a narrower size than what I'd normally need. That left it too short, so I had to add to the back's length.

Then it fit. At least, it fit at the beginning of the evening. It grew more as the evening went on. It did not stretch out to the point of falling off my shoulders, but it was close. I should also mention the shedding. My husband was a bit fuzzy himself by evening's end.

All that may sound like I'm unhappy with it, but I cannot be because this yarn is so unbelievably soft and light and warm. As open and airy as it is, it was actually quite warm. I wish I'd bought more of it when I did - at half price! - because with two skeins, I would knit an entire sweater from it.

(Photos were taken at the end of the evening and the next morning.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010



This is a man made waterfall at a nearby shopping mall.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Some days the mountains look closer than others. They look taller when they're snow capped, too. Today they looked much closer than they really are.


I don't like Canada Geese, but these two seemed to want their picture taken.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


How do you redeem a horrible shopping day when nothing fits or flatters?
Shoes, the girlier the better.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Free day at the art museum today: my husband and I stopped in for a little bit. There was this "bungee maze," really just a little space with bungees tightly spaced which people could walk through. I thought it would be fun to take a picture in there. However, when I used the flash, all that showed was the colors of the nearest cords. When I turned the flash off, I got the above shot of my dh. It's blurry, but I love the playfulness of his expression behind the rainbow of bungees.



I love the 52 week self portraits that have been shared by the mommytographers. You are all so beautiful! Every photo I've seen, I marvel at how lovely each of you are. I have never been comfortable being photographed, and it shows in every photo. I tend to stiffen and get that deer in headlights look about me. However, I've been inspired by those who are participating in that project to try to be more at ease when the camera is pointed at me. This was the best of today's efforts.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Stash drawer

Monday, March 1, 2010


"Why are you doing this to me, Mom?"