TGIF

It's cold.  The leaves are falling.  
(But I'm still wearing my flip-flops.)  
(Strangers feel like it's okay to comment on my footwear choice these days.)  
(Like. . . it's none of your business, dude.)

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Anyway . . . it's Friday.  So, let's TGIF.

T - Thinking about . . . what to knit next.  I finished my Tegna sweater well over a week ago now, and I haven't cast on for anything yet.  I have several ideas in mind (like this or this or this) (or, now, this), but I'm also considering knitting a few Christmas gifts this year.  Decisions, decisions.

G - Grateful for . . . our plans for a quiet weekend at home.  It's been busy lately, and I'm ready for a no-commitments kind of weekend.

I - Inspired by . . . my copy of the new book Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh.  It's a beautiful book full of all kinds of lovely images (who could imagine that mending could be so incredibly lovely?) and handy mending techniques that look so very cool.  It makes me want to go rip up my jeans, just so I can mend them.

F - Fun . . . I love walking in my neighborhood in the fall.  I love watching the leaves change -- but I especially appreciate some of the very clever - and very fun - ways my neighbors decorate for the season.  JoJo and I were quite surprised to see this near the sidewalk earlier this week.  Definitely fun!

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So . . . what's your TGIF situation today?


Garden Whimsy . . . Fall Edition

I like to do a little decorating out in the garden for fall.  Not much.  Nothing elaborate.  Mostly just . . . 

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1 - Changing out my containers, adding some mums, and throwing in a few pumpkins.  (With trusty old "Skelly-man" for seasonal interest.)

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2 -- Having fun with pumpkins.  I especially like using the pumpkins with unusual shapes and colors.  (That's a real pumpkin on the bottom, topped with a pottery decoration that just happened to fit on top.)

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3 - And bringing out the old, familiar favorites.  (Skelly-man, above, and this pumpkin face have been part of my fall garden d├ęcor for 15 years now.)

It's fun to bring a little whimsy to the garden in the fall!

How about you?  Do you decorate outside for fall?

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To see more Three on Thursday posts, be sure to pop in over at Carole's today!

 


Knit a Harvest

"But there's a full moon rising
Let's go dancing in the light
We know where the music's playing
Let's go out and feel the night"
                -- Neil Young, Harvest Moon

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So.  This year, I've been having WAY too much fun putting together monthly "care packages" for my adult children.  Usually, I organize each little package around a "theme" of some sort (which makes it easier to put them together, y'know?).  For October, I went with a "harvest" theme, and featured pumpkin stuff:  a pumpkin carving kit, pumpkin chocolates, and these . . .

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Adorable knitted pumpkins!  

Simple and quick to make -- and a big hit on the receiving end.  (Ravelry details here.)

There's still time to knit yourself a harvest this fall.  (Just sayin.')

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Be sure to visit Kat today, to see what's . . . unraveling!


Celebrating . . . 120 Years

In December, Tom will turn 60.

Then, in March, I will turn 60.

Together . . . that's 120 years!  And that calls for a Big Celebration, don't you think?  A real shared Birthday Extravaganza!

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We don't know what our celebration will look like quite yet.
(But we will NOT be throwing any surprises of any type.)
We're not sure what we'll do.  
(But we do know there will be adventure involved...)
We just want it to be . . . well . . . EPIC.

We've decided to create a "60 for 60" list for us to work from.  Kind of like a bucket list . . . but just for our 60th birthday year.  We're working on it now (Tom will have 20 items just for him, I'll have 20 items just for me, and we'll have 20 items for the both of us together), and we've decided that our timeframe for completion will be the 15 months beginning on Tom's birthday in December, and then extending through my 61st birthday in March of 2020 (which gives us 15 months to work with).

Thinking about our lists has been fun, but also much harder than I thought it would be.  We want our lists to be well-rounded, including travel, personal goals, significant experiences, learning things, and stepping outside our comfort zones.  So it takes a lot of thought and consideration -- especially when it involves the "together" part of our list.  Because we BOTH have to want to do/see/experience whatever it is!  

It's going to be interesting to see what we come up with -- and even more interesting to see what we do with it.

How about you?  What would you include on a special-birthday-bucket-list?

 


Going to Seed

It's the time of year for garden clean-up.  Time to prepare the plants for winter and maybe even get a head start on next year's garden.  

But . . . I'm kind of a lazy gardener in the fall.  I've grown tired of weeding and the more tedious garden chores.  I want to just sit back and relax at this point.  (And, besides, I still have plenty of things blooming!)

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Really, though, I do a lot of garden "prep" in the fall.  I move plants around.  I weed (it never ends).  I cut back some of the plants that really need it.  I plant bulbs.  I make a lot of notes for next year.  I bring in all my little garden tchotchkes.  I pull out the annuals and empty my hanging baskets.

But.  I don't tend to cut back my perennials.  I don't mind a garden (even in the off season) that is . . . less than tidy.  I leave seedheads that are . . . interesting.  Or that provide food for the birds.  Or that will seed in a way I want them to seed.  Or that will collect snow in a particularly beautiful way (when that happens) (because it will).

Besides . . . I find seedheads to be quite lovely all on their own.  Here are three that have caught my eye this week:

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Penstemon.  When at it's peak, this penstemon - called Husker's Red - features white blooms on reddish stalks.  I often cut these stalks with seedheads for fall flower arrangements. 

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Butterfly weed.  At it's peak, the blooms are bright orange and a staple in butterfly gardens.  Butterfly weed is in the "milkweed family," so is especially beneficial for Monarchs.  I often share the seeds with friends (intentionally)*, and with my neighbors (unintentionally, but purposefully).  (They love me so.)

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Clematis.  At its peak, this particular clematis ('Tranquilite') sports huge white blossoms with a burgundy/purple center.  Although I go a little weak-in-the-knees for pretty much any blooming clematis, I also love their interesting seedheads once the blooms have faded.

How about you?  Are you a neat-and-tidy gardener come fall?  Or, like me, do you let seedheads . . . do their thing?

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Be sure to visit Carole for other Three on Thursday posts today.

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*If you'd like some of my butterfly weed seeds for your garden, send me an email or let me know in the comments and I'll mail you a batch.

 

 


Take My Hand, We'll Make It I Swear

Let's set the tone for today's post.  

Knitting with linen . . . is not for the faint of heart.

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Because knitting with linen?  Well.  It looks like C.R.A.P. on the needles.  

The gauge is off.
The stitches are wonky.
It twists.
It puckers.
It is incredibly . . . not nice to work with.

You need to have faith.  You need to keep that washed-and-dried gauge swatch nearby at all times during the knitting.  Because it all feels so very, very wrong.

We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make difference if we make it or not
We've got each other and that's a lot for love
We'll give it a shot. . . 

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You knit on when you're knitting with linen.  Just hoping for magic to happen in the blocking (which often means the clothes dryer . . . instead of blocking pins).

Ohhhhh, we're half way there
Oh-oh, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh-oh, livin on a prayer

And sometimes?  It all works out in the end!

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Me and Jon Bon Jovi . . . livin' on a prayer!

(Find Ravelry details here.  And once Tom gets back home, some better photos!)

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And here's something very funny.  Jon Bon Jovi and I . . . used to have the same hair!

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(Oh. . . those 80s. . . )

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today . . . for more Unraveled posts.

 

 


Escape to the Movies

Looking for an escape?  The news is crap and things seems pretty bleak at the moment.  So, hey!  Let's go to the movies!  

Tom and I saw the new A Star is Born yesterday.  No spoilers here . . . although I will say we both liked it  (And that one song?  So stuck in my head . . . ) (And when GaGa ooooooo-aahaa-oooooo?  Oh, yeah, best part of the movie . . .

Anyway.

The Streisand/Kristofferson version of A Star is Born came out when I was a senior in high school, and my friends and I so-so-so loved it.  This new one?  Better music.  Grittier.  More Real somehow.  Extremely well done.  (Plus Bradley Cooper.  With an Eddie Vedder look.  What more can I say?)  Overall, a very good way to escape for a couple of hours.

Because I think some of you might be interested, here's a fun little video . . . analyzing the evolution of A Star is Born from 1937 to 1954, 1976 to 2018.  Enjoy!

And then . . . maybe escape to a movie!


Sometimes Mondays

. . . look a little foggy.

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Seriously foggy.

Like outside.  And also in my head.

It was a tough weekend - emotionally - for me (and, I imagine, for many of you, too).  I indulged in a little despair and a lot of anger.  I whined some (and "wined" some).  And I have sworn off the news for awhile.  (Again.)

But now it's Monday.  Time to clear the fog.  To find a way to move through it.  And to figure out how I can shine my bright light in it . . . however I can.

Let's go!