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February 2011

Another Month. . . 28 More Photos

I'm still working on my 365 Project!


I can really notice a difference.  I'm taking more photos.  A LOT more.


I'm thinking about composition all the time. 


I'm wishing the light were better all the time.


I'm having fun.


And that's what counts here. . . in 365 Project land!


Another month.  28 more photos.


(It was a snowy, icy month . . . wasn't it?)


To see the entire collection of February photos, click on the 365 Project link in my sidebar.

A World of Glass

The Ice Storm Storm has been somewhat . . . all-encompassing. . . this week.  It's thrown all of us off-kilter.  When your world is encased in a 1/2" coating of ice, everything changes.

Trees bend and break and fall down because of the sheer weight of the ice.


Services come to a halt.


Power goes out. (We were extremely lucky this go-round.  We did not lose our power.  Internet? Yep.  But we had heat!)


Driving is treacherous; walking is treacherous.


This ice storm was a little unusual -- because it was immediately followed by snow and plunging temperatures.  So the ice that accumulated on Sunday. . .


is still there today.  Nothing has melted yet.


Most folks have power again.  Streets are driveable.  Businesses are open.


On the plus side, it's stunningly beautiful. . . everywhere you look.  It's like a world created by Dale Chihuly -- and especially at night, when the light shines on the icy trees.


It's really impressive. . . to live in a world of glass.


The worst thing?  Check out this forecast . . .

Screen shot 2011-02-23 at 8.56.37 PM

a "wintry mix" for tonight.  And fog.  Followed by snow.  Make it stop!

On Ice

Last week, the weather was warm and teasing us with spring.  But we know better. . . here in Michigan.


On Sunday, we got ice.


Crippling, tree-downing, power-outage ice.


Ice that closes down an entire town.


On Monday and Tuesday, we got snow.


Lots of snow.


On top of the ice.


And today?


5° F.

It's not too late to finish these mittens after all!


Shaken, Not Stirred


Oh, boy!  This week's topic is oh. so. relevant!  Today, Carole has us talking about our Ten Favorite Cocktails.  Let's just say this:  I need one.  We had a big ice storm on Sunday night.  Followed by a big snow storm.  Power is out everywhere.  Internet connection is spotty.  People are scrambling folks.  It's time for a drink!

Even though I prefer a glass of wine to a cocktail, I (ahem) do enjoy a good cocktail now and again. 


Here goes.  My Ten Favorite Cocktails:

  1. Dirty Martini (with at least 3 olives!)
  2. Whiskey (neat)
  3. Margarita (on the rocks; with salt)
  4. Cosmopolitan (pretty AND tasty)
  5. Mimosa (so nice with brunch)
  6. Gin & Tonic (only in the summer, though)
  7. Bloody Mary (two stalks of celery; with leaves)
  8. Pina Colada (only on vacation; poolside or beachside)
  9. Bailey's Irish Cream (technically, not a cocktail, but . . . yum)
  10. Whiskey Sour (but, really, not for years)

Bottom's up!

Just Leading Me On

Two weekends ago, it looked like this. . .


Then, last weekend it looked like this. . .


By Saturday, nearly ALL the snow was gone, and I could get out in my garden.  I was so excited to find signs of life!

Greens. . .


and buds. . .


and shoots!


I know spring is a tease.  I know the weather is just leading me on!  And in case there was any doubt . . .

Screen shot 2011-02-20 at 8.02.33 PM
Snow.  Sleet.  Freezing rain.  Thunder.  All wrapped up in a Winter Storm Warning!


Golden Age

Soundtrack time. . .


I remember, when I was about 8 or 9, learning for the first time about Golden Birthdays.  At the time, my neighborhood pal, Wendy, and I were Most Disappointed.  Her Golden Birthday (she was born on the 1st of the month) had already passed - long before she even knew what a birthday WAS.  And mine?  Well. . . I'd be TOO OLD to even enjoy it (I was born on the 30th of the month)!

(Truth be told, I was right -- I didn't enjoy my Golden Birthday.  When I turned 30, I was 7 months pregnant and was working as a CPA in the midst of a very busy tax season.  I remember not being much in the mood to celebrate anything. . . let alone a Golden Birthday!)

Anyway, TODAY is Brian's Golden Birthday:  19 on the 19th.

And it IS going to be a Golden kind of celebration!

Golden sunshine (so you can actually USE your new birthday longboard!).


A spring break trip (coming right up) to the Golden State.

2005 skateboard

Shining, glittering, dazzling. . .


Happy Birthday, Brian!  You're GOLDEN!

(And a special shout-out to my wonderful brother-in-law.  Happy FIFTY, Kurt!  Welcome to . . . the Fabulous Fifties!)

Dear Fred

There is one thing…that must be attempted and most sacredly observed, or we are all undone. There must be decency and respect and veneration introduced for persons of every rank, or we are undone. In popular government, this is our only way.” -- John Adams


Dear Fred,

This hat was hand knit with care for you. Many of your colleagues will also be receiving hats from knitters of all political stripes and from all around the nation.

Why a hat? Knit hats meet a simple need for warmth. They are an every day comfort. Everyone can use a good hat.

Civil political discourse also meets a simple need - the need for our government to have the best information and insights from many viewpoints. It would be an every day comfort to me and many other Americans if the airwaves were free of hate-filled rhetoric, and it would lead to good government. As I’m sure you agree, everyone can use good government.

Thank you for your service, and best regards,



By now, I'm sure many of you have heard about the Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads campaign begun by knit-bloggers TwinSetEllen and SpinDyeKnit.  If not. . . check out information here, here, or here.  (There is also a Facebook page; just search "Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads.")

Join in!  Knit a hat for your Congressperson.  Send it with a letter by February 28.  Demand polite, respectful discourse.  It's time.  Stand and be counted!

(And here's a special challenge to my fellow-Michiganders:  There are PLENTY of Michigan Congresspeople without hat-knitters!  Join me!  Let's make sure our Michigan representatives receive some hats.)

PS -- On my Ravelry page, this hat is named for a CSNY song - Stand and Be Counted.  I couldn't find a decent YouTube video version of the song, so you'll just have to hum along in your head.



Digging Out

Ahhhhhhh.  The sun came out over the weekend.  The Thaw has begun!


With temperatures rising above 32° F, the thick ice starts to melt.


Running water starts to run. . . and pool.  Time to dig out the street drains!


Fortunately, after years of experience, Tom knows where to start digging to uncover the drain.


He also has the right tools for the job!  A scoop shovel, and an ice "spud."


Before long, he uncovers the drain.


And the water starts to flow.


Free-flowing thaw.  At last!


February Thaw!

Such Distractions!


Some days I wonder how I functioned without the Internet.  No blogs.  No YouTube.  No Wikipedia.  No Google Earth.  No Ravelry.  No Facebook.   No LOLCats.  What did I DO with my time?

This week, Ten on Tuesday has us exploring our Ten Favorite Non-Knitting Blogs.  This is a dangerous topic, folks.  Because I'm pretty sure I'm going to be tempted by whatever the rest of you post.  And, trust me. . . I really don't need any more distractions!

When I'm not reading knitting blogs. . . or checking in on Ravelry. . . or Facebook. . . or playing around with aerial views of the Nile River. . . or looking up old commercials from my youth ("ancient Chinese secret, huh?") I do check out some other blogs and sites quite regularly.  Here are are a few of my favorites:

Screen shot 2011-02-14 at 9.02.59 PM

  1. Tom & Lorenzo: Fabulous & Opinionated -- I won't let a day go by without checking out what T'Lo has to say . . . about fashion, television, and the red carpet.  Whether it's a critique of the designers on Project Runway, a detailed analysis of the fashion on Mad Men, or a hilarious re-cap of figure skating costumes, I can count on T'Lo to make me smile.  Witty and fun . . . with pretty pictures, too!
  2. The Oatmeal -- Nothing like a good comic to make your day!
  3. Whole Living Daily: Body + Soul in Balance -- Okay.  It's Martha Stewart.  But this site includes some great tips, recipes, and ideas.
  4. Cook's Illustrated -- Best. Cooking. Site. Ever.
  5. Cooking Light -- Another great cooking site.
  6. Everyday Food Blog -- And another great cooking site. (I get really distracted by recipes.)
  7. Fail Blog -- Because every day needs a little fun. . .
  8. PlantJotter -- Not really a blog.  At all.  But it's a great way to organize your gardening information (like. . . Ravelry without the yarn).
  9. The Morning News -- It's black and white and read all over.
  10. Pinterest -- I try to avoid this one, because the potential for distraction is HUGE!  (But what a concept!)

Check out other Ten on Tuesday posts here. . . and Get Distracted!