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August 2011

It's All A Blur!!!

My sister and I have a lot of fun whenever we're together. 


Here we are with my niece, Jessica.

Oh, we have our serious discussions; our soul-searching moments; our bitch-sessions. . . no doubt about that.  We've gotten each other through some tight spots, that's for sure.  (Truly, my sister was my biggest cheerleader and support throughout my chemo experience.)  But.  Mostly we laugh.

We visit famous landmarks (and I don't mean the Eiffel Tower) together. . . and laugh.


I mean, seriously!  The "best store by a dam site."  Who knew?

We visit monoliths of all manner. . . and laugh.


A giant watering can!  Perfection.

We encourage each other to pursue new (or re-newed) hobbies. . . and laugh.


Yarn purchase!  My sister is going to take up knitting (again).  Next thing you know, she'll be on Ravelry!

We are attracted by The Kitsch. . . and, of course, laugh.


I mean. . . you've just got to stop at a cherry store decorated with red painted jugs, don't you?  What a delight to find out they make the Best. Juice. Ever.

We shop. . . and laugh.


Like. . . we really shop.


In fact, sometimes we shop so much . . . and have such a serious "falling down" in a couple of stores . . . that things need to be shipped.  Because they can't possibly fit in your luggage for the trip home.


But, mostly, we laugh.  In fact, we laugh so much . . . and so hard. . . that it's a challenge to even get a picture of us!


Thanks for a wonderful time, Di!  It was a laugh-a-minute blur . . . and I loved every moment!

Snackin' at the Beach

This week, Carole has us thinking about Ten Great Snacks to Take to the Beach.  Hmmmmmm.


I do go to the beach from time to time.  Sometimes close by (that's South Haven beach on the shore of Lake Michigan, about a half hour from my house) . . . and sometimes far away (this beach is in Belize on the Caribbean, a long, long way from my house).

Belize mar 2010 417

But, I'm not much of a beach-snacker

On vacations (beach or otherwise) or hanging out at our lake cottage, here's what we tend to reach for:

  1. Water
  2. Pretzels
  3. Toostie Roll Pops
  4. Grapes
  5. Gummy Worms
  6. Trail Mix

Well.  That's only six.  So I guess I really need to round it off with four more. . .

Belize mar 2010 468

  1. Piña Colada
  2. Margarita (on the rocks, with salt please)
  3. Gin and Tonic
  4. Cold beer

Like I said. . . I'm not much of a snacker. . .



Scenic Route

We're back from our quick sojourn Out West.  Now. . . it's time to hit the ground running!  Brian is off to school in a week; I have some work-ish projects to begin; the garden is in "changing seasons" mode.  There is much to be done . . . every where I turn.  Translation:  No Time To Blog.

So, for today, enjoy some Pretty from our trip!


View from what might just be the Most Lovely Rest Area in the Country; Fort Collins, Colorado.


Wall decor; New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colorado


Highway view, I-25 heading north to Cheyenne


Hollyhocks in Kurt's garden (my brother-in-law)


Sunflower shining at The Gardens on Spring Creek; Fort Collins, Colorado


Aspens shimmering at the Cheyenne Botanical Gardens; Cheyenne, Wyoming


Wall mosaic at The Gardens on Spring Creek; Fort Collins, Colorado


The Big Thompson rolling through Estes Park, Colorado


A swallowtail spotted at Cheyenne Botanical Gardens

Stay tuned.  More to follow.

When Lady Bountiful Pays a Call

About this time of year, the harvest starts kicking in.  What to do with that pile of basil?  All of those onions?  The kale that won't quit? 

This week, Carole has us thinking about Ten Things to Do With an Overabundance of Produce.

IMG_9579 1 -- Bundle it.

IMG_9582 2 -- Bottle it.

IMG_0069 3 -- Roast it.

IMG_0074 4 -- Freeze it.

IMG_9358 5 -- Chop it.

IMG_0062 6 -- Pesto it.

IMG_9654 7 -- Vinegar it.

IMG_9574 8 -- Bouquet it.

IMG_4475 9 -- Bake it.

IMG_1664 10 -- Dry it.

Looking for more ideas?  Here's a great book. . .


with lots of great tips, information, and recipes.

Happy harvest!


Pumping Up the Volume, Breaking Down the Beat

Soundtrack. . .


My knitting has been a real train wreck this summer. 

Well.  Maybe not my knitting itself, but my knitting plans, certainly, have flown right off the track.  Derailment!

Last April, I started knitting this.


I love every little thing about this project.  But - I ended up packing it away after completing four squares in May.  Great project.  It just got squeezed out.  (No worries; I plan to pick this project back up in September.)

In May, I started a Project Spectrum project that I haven't even blogged about (yet).  I will, though.  I will.


Stay tuned.  (This one has been happening in the background at good pace.)

In June, I started a cute little summer top.


Ever-so-close to being finished (although this picture is deceiving; while the front is nearly finished, the back is not so far along), this project has taken a backseat to all my deadline driven projects this summer.  I am determined to finish this up, though, in time to take it out for a test-drive yet this summer.

Also in June, I signed up for the Through the Loops Summer Shawl KAL.  Oops.  Looks like another deadline.  Better get this party started!


As you can see, I've got lots going on, knitting-wise.  I'm coming up. . . better get this party started!

ReThink. . . Pink!


A new calendar month brings a new Project Spectrum color . . . PINK.


Pink?  I'm not a huge fan of pink.   I mean. . . I don't mind it.  Really, I don't.  But it tends not to be my first choice.  Pink?  Where am I even going to find it around me?

Not in my closet. 

Except for . . . oops!  A nice pop of bright color here and there.


(My current favorite handbag.)

Not in my house.

Well. . . except for some colorful touches to soften the edges.


(Like in these embroidered throw pillows.)

Not on my toes.

Ummmmmm.  Except that my latest pedicure is "cupid pink."


Not in my garden.

Except for that nice shell pink begonia. . .


and some interesting foliage. . . and maybe even a few other blooms here and there.


Not on my needles.

Well. . . unless there's a new baby on the block!


(All the details Raveled here.)

Maybe I'm going to have to re-think. . . PINK!


Popping Up Everywhere

It all started last year. . . with that succulent wreath I planted.  I am totally stuck on succulents!  This year, they're popping up everywhere in my garden.  (That's because . . . I planted them!)


I have always incorporated various sedums in my garden beds.  I love the leaf shapes, the texture, and the pop of flower color (especially later in the summer and early fall).


They're an easy-to-grow group of plants -- requiring little care and able to tolerate poor soil, heat and drought, and even general neglect.  Last year, I planted an entire bed of succulents in an otherwise problem area.  It's thriving!


(Well.  This photo makes it still LOOK like a problem area.  For some reason, it's a difficult little area to photograph.)

I've also been putting together small, succulent container gardens.




There are so many different succulents to choose from!  They're such fun to mix and match.  And they bloom, too!


You can even share with your friends!  Here's a cutting from a friend of mine -- beginning to sprout new growth -- just stuck in a pot of container mix.


As for my succulent wreath?  Meh.  It's hanging in there, but is struggling to reach last year's glory.


I think I've figured out the problem.  I'm thinking that last year's plants "used up" all the good nutrients that were initially available in the wreath.  I probably needed to add something or re-charge the wreath in some way so this year's plants could thrive, too.  It's back-to-the drawing board for next season!

Anyway, I'm loving the succulents in my garden this year!


Too bad I can't say the same about my tomatoes. . .


Thank you so much for your kind words of support and understanding yesterday.  Gardening, a hard workout, and yoga have done much to clear my head.  There was some good news for James yesterday; some possibilities.  And that is very good.


Sorting it Out

My heart is aching.  Sometimes, life is hard to bear.  (In this case, it doesn't impact me or my family directly -- but a friend and teammate of Brian's.)  It's . . . overwhelming. . . to think of how "normal" things can be one minute. . . and how changed the next.  I am struggling.

So, early this morning, just as the sun was coming up, I headed out to my garden.


I needed to get my hands in the dirt; to dig and pull and prune.


When I'm out there, in my garden, I can sort things out.  A bit. 


This morning, I needed the reminders. . . of bird song. . .


of bounty. . .


of bloom.


I found some peace . . .


some love.


Time in my garden . . . was just what I needed this morning.  Restorative.


But not enough.  Yet.  Good thing I have plenty of weeds.


(And. . . if it's what you do. . . please send a prayer or two James' way.)

Thunderbolt City!*

This week, Carole has us thinking about our Ten Favorite Romantic-Comedies.

I'm not much of a movie-goer or movie-watcher -- but I do have a few favorites.  And I'm not sure if there's really a clear "definition" for the genre "romantic-comedy"  -- but I do think that some of my favorites might fall into the rom-com category.

Before we get started - and to get us in the mood, let's watch one of my favorite movie lines (from the ever-adorable Hugh Grant):


Perfect, non?

And, now.  My Ten Favorite Romantic-Comedies, which may or may not technically fit into that movie genre -- but do tend to be about love, and are also comedies.

  1. Amelie
  2. High Fidelity
  3. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  4. Something's Gotta Give
  5. Love, Actually
  6. Bull Durham
  7. Spanglish
  8. When Harry Met Sally
  9. Notting Hill
  10. Groundhog Day

How about you?  What are your favorites?

*Can you name the movie with this quote?  And who says it?