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March 2014

Right Now . . . March 2014

March . . . came in like a lion.  And, pretty much, it STAYED like a lion.

Until Sunday.

On Sunday . . . Spring showed a glimpse of what's to come!

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(Garden Buddha is wholly visible.  Finally.)

What's happening in my world . . . RIGHT NOW?

Watching . . . Spring roll in!  Ever so slowly . . . but coming.  Birds.  Light.  Glaciers receding.  (Also basketball.  But just the exciting parts at the end.)

Reading . . . The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.  Just what I'm in the mood for right now, which is a very good thing, as this is (yet another ) of those 800+ page epic novels I tend to be inclined to read.

Knitting . . . A gift . . . Canyonlands . . . for a special mentor in my life.

 

Listening to . . . John Legend.  Who will be coming to Kalamazoo to play as part of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival in May.  (And guess who got tickets?  Yeah!)

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Dreading . . . Mud season.  And Jo Jo.  (But mud means "the winter of our discontent" is over.  And I'll take that.)

Planning . . . Gardens.  Projects.  Spring chores.  (Hope abounds)

Humming . . . Summertime Sadness.  (I'm afraid it's good and stuck.)  (I'll spare you.)

Wondering . . . Why my desk can't stay clear and organized???

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Drinking . . . Oberon.  A sure sing of spring here in Kalamazoo!

Itching to . . . Find out what survived in my garden this winter.  And what did not.  (I know there will be casualties.)

Needing to . . . Finish the damn taxes.

Organizing . . . I'm making drastic changes in my wardrobe.  Drastic.  (This subject deserves an entire blog post.  Maybe two.  Stay tuned.)

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Delighted by . . . My vertical fern garden -- a find from the Chicago Flower and Garden Show earlier in March.

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Inspired by . . . Alabama Chanin.  Enough so . . . that I've dug out the kit I purchased on the Alabama Chanin website two years ago.  The kit I was so intimidated to try . . . that I stuck it back in the far reaches of my craft closet without even breaking the seal.  I'm ready to give it a try now.  (I actually opened the plastic wrap and took it out to look at just this week.  Baby steps.)

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Celebrating . . . Jenny's leash restriction is over in a couple of days!  She's doing great -- and more than ready to run.

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . Right Now?


She Said It: Week Four

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"The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving."

--- Gloria Steinem

 

Gloria Steinem

Earlier this week, Gloria Steinem celebrated her 80th birthday.  How awesome is that?  (Click here to read my story about meeting Ms. Steinem.)

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March is Women's History Month.  Celebrate the legacy of women's words with me here each Friday during March.


I Feel it in the Air

Soundtrack . . . 

 

No secret.  It's been a really cold. . . 

really snowy . . . 

extremely long. . . 

Winter in the Great Lakes region.

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I'm kinda done with it.

I'm ready to move on.

I've got a bad case of . . . Summertime Sadness!

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Oh, my god . . . 

I feel it in the air.

Could it be spring?   (Keep your fingers crossed!)
(Although . . . snowflakes this morning.)

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(Click here for details on Ravelry.)


One of Those Easy Weeks

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Sometimes . . . when I open the Ten on Tuesday email from Carole . . . I have to really think and think to come up with my list.  Other times . . . it's just EASY.

This is one of those Easy Weeks!

Because . . . reading . . . is what I do.

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(One of my favorite reading places.  Although I have to fight Jenny for it.)

The Last 10 Books I've Read:

  1. The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton) - Still in progress, but so far . . . worth the slog (at over 800 pages).  Nice and Dickensian.  (And I love Dickens.)
  2. Hunting and Gathering (Anna Gavalda) - Marvelous!  (Although if you are a big fan of plot-driven novels, this might not be for you.  If you love character studies . . . dive right in!)
  3. Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Jill Lepore) - Solid.  Interesting.  (Especially if you're a fan of women of the Revolutionary War era.  And I am.)
  4. The Good Lord Bird (James McBride) - Wonderful . . . in that Huck Finn kind of way!
  5. In the Shadow of Blackbirds (Cat Winters) - Well-done young-adult fiction (which I always find slightly tedious, for some reason, even when it's well-done).
  6. Gift from the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindbergh) - A re-read for me; an inspirational book about the changing phases of woman-hood.  I was inspired to pick it up again after reading . . . 
  7. The Aviator's Wife (Melanie Benjamin) - Nice and solid.  I kind of love Anne Morrow Lindbergh; it's interesting to read her story (even though this one is biography-laced-with fiction).
  8. The Man in the Window (Jon Cohen) - A delightful, quirky love story with some interesting twists!  (I thank Carole for the recommendation on this one.)
  9. The Flamethrowers (Rachel Kushner) - Meh.  I struggled through this one.  Big time.  (Still trying to figure out what the fuss is about.  Anyone????)
  10. The Spinning Heart (Donal Ryan) - I loved this book.  So. Much.  What an interesting way to tell a story . . . (check it out for yourself and see!)

How about you?  What have you read lately?

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Paradigm Shifts

Last week at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, I was thrilled to find this year's exhibit* from Women's Journeys in Fiber --  Paradigm Shifts: Impressions of Change.

Each artist was to create a shift-style dress as a canvas to represent a paradigm shift in her life, science, politics, or religion.  The results were stunning!

This artist (who we got to meet and chat with at the show) created a "shift" to show the "shift" from 50s housewife (her mom) to today's woman (her daughter).  The front of the shift told the story of the 60s through the present . . .

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While the back of the dress told the story of the 50s housewife. . .

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A gardener told the story of her shifting garden -- from generic lawn to lush flower beds!

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And a life-long seamstress depicted her shift from dressmaking and tailoring (on the back) . . .

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to an exploration of quilting and experimental stitching techniques (on the front)!

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There were several weavers . . .

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a knitter . . . 

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and many fascinating looks at history, and several poignant political statements. . .

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This one contrasts images from fashion magazines with newspaper articles about the textile factory fire in Pakistan that killed more than 300 people.

One of my favorites . . . 

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was completely made of words!

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Her shift told the story of the power of love (in both English and Korean).

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So many shifts!

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So many stories!

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Such a powerful exhibit!

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For me -- surrounded as I was by flowers and gardening ideas, and inspired by color everywhere -- the shifts were the best part of the the day!

Click here if you'd like to see more of the shifts and read some of the artist statements.

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*Last year's exhibit featured shoes, and the year before, it was aprons.


Balm for the Soul

I always love going to the Chicago Flower & Garden Show!  The timing is just perfect to brush off the winter cobwebs and start thinking about spring.

But this year?  Ah, this year it was double-y (no, make that triple-y!!!) wonderful.

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As soon as Sandie and I stepped in to the Navy Pier exhibition hall . . .

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we were overwhelmed (some might say downright giddy) from the smell of fresh flowers and trees. . .

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and we realized how starved we were for color!

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We had a wonderful day in Chicago -- filled with inspiration, education, and a bit of shopping, too.  I'll share more in the blog-days ahead.

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For now, let's just say that being surrounded by plants and flowers . . .

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was balm for the soul!

HAPPY SPRING!


Honey, Let's Just Stop and ASK Someone

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It was such fun to think about divisions-of-labor last week . . . that Carole has us doing it again this week.  Only in reverse!

I asked Tom to help me with this week's list . . . Ten Things I Do That He Could Do -- But Doesn't.

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Here's what we came up with:

  1. Laundry
    Tom:  Sorting?  Folding?  Why bother?
    Kym:  Care labels = required reading.
  2. Household paperwork, including bill-paying, taxes, and deadlines
    Tom:  I have a PhD in organic chemistry!
    Kym:  (Can't fill out a form to save his soul.)
  3. Packing his suitcase
    Tom:  You're just so much better at it than I am.
    Kym:  That's because I fold things.
  4. Wardrobe approval
    Kym:  Tom is colorblind.  (Very colorblind.)
    Tom:  Colorblind means never having to say, "It clashes!"
  5. Wrapping presents
    Tom:  Why bother?
    Kym:  Again, it has to do with folding.
  6. Home d├ęcor including where to hang things on the wall
    Tom:  How about here?
    Kym:  Are you freakin' kidding me?
  7. Managing the social calendar, including which cultural events we'll take in
    Tom:  Mixed Martial Arts is coming to Wings Stadium!
    Kym:  Too bad.  We have opera tickets that night.
  8. Menu planning
    Tom:  Meatless Monday again?  Isn't it Thursday?
    Kym:  Yep.
  9. Making the bed
    Tom:  Why bother?
    Kym:  Neat covers = sweet dreams.
  10. Asking directions
    Kym:  Let's just ASK someone.
    Tom:  [mumbles under breath]

How about YOU?  What do you do . . . that your significant other could do, but just doesn't?

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