Previous month:
September 2012
Next month:
November 2012

October 2012

Who Dunnit?


I am a Reader.  Mostly, I read contemporary fiction.  A few "classics" now and then, with a  biography or two thrown in here and there.  I read a few non-fiction books each year (really; I like them!).  I like mysteries, too -- although they tend to be of the "psychological mystery" type. 


My Ten Favorite Mysteries:

  1. Tana French (I especially loved "Faithful Place". . . but all four of her books, set in Dublin, are terrific.)
  2. Martha Grimes (I've been reading her books for about 25 years now!  An old favorite is "The Anodyne Necklace.")
  3. Louise Penny (I discovered her new-ish Three Pines series while going through chemo; I always look forward a new book by Louise Penny.)
  4. Kate Atkinson (Technically, probably not a mystery author.  But I think her Jackson Brodie novels are mysterious.  I loved "Case Histories.")
  5. Steig Larsson (Oh, if only the "Dragon Tattoo" series could have run its full course!)
  6. Laurie R. King (Interesting series featuring Mary Russell -- who is Sherlock Holmes' partner . . . and, later, wife.  "Justice Hall" is a good one.)
  7. Elizabeth Peters (I think I read my first "Amelia Peabody" mystery when I was in late high school or college!  I pick one up every once in a while; I love Amelia.)
  8. P.D. James (Again, I've been reading the Adam Dalgliesh series - off and on - since high school.)
  9. Agatha Christie (I'm a sucker for the classics!  I love "And Then There Were None.")
  10. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Really, can anything beat Sherlock Holmes?  "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is simply perfection.)

How about YOU?  What are your favorite mysteries?


Join the fun!  Sign up for Ten on Tuesday here.


Come on, Baby. . .


Sometimes, I question my sanity.


I mean. . . here I am, recently back from a trip.  In the midst of a major work project.  Closing out my garden for the season.  Painting and re-doing a piece of my house.

And I saw something on Ravelry.

Something of a . . . seasonal nature.

Something that would be perfect for my Halloween-loving daughter.

My Halloween-loving daughter who lives far away.

Come on, baby. . .


Take my hand. . .


We'll be able to fly . . .


Come on, baby. . .


Don't fear the reaper!

(Ravelry details here.)

On a Dime

Today's post is brought to you by . . .


Dr. Doctor!*

Way, way back. . . in Tom's grad school days at Colorado State University . . . we were friends with a Japanese couple living in Fort Collins (he was a post-doc, I believe).  One night, we were at their house for dinner. . . and Midori (the wife of the couple) asked us for help with one of her English assignments.  She needed to come up with examples of American idioms -- and explain how they were used in everyday conversation.

We had a grand time helping her!

    Calm before the storm...

    Burn your bridges...

    Foot the bill...

    Get in over your head...

    In one ear, out the other...

    On the right track...

    Play with fire...

    Scratch the surface...

    Under the table...

    Turn on a dime...

Yeah.  That one.


Turn on a dime.

According to American Culture Explained, this idiom is used to describe things that change direction very quickly; more or less instantaneously.  It's origin?  Think high-performance cars, planes, boats.  The ability to "turn on a dime" (or other small coin) indicates that you can turn very quickly in a very tight space.

Life turns on a dime.

One second you're. . . oh, say, going for your morning run in the woods.  And the next?  Covered in mud and headed to the ER with a broken arm.

Life turned that way . . . for Patty. . . on Sunday morning.  Broken right humerus **.  3 hours of surgery.  Many weeks of recovery.  No running.  No knitting.

And no Rhinebeck!***

Life turns on a dime, indeed.

(Send Patty your healing wishes here!)


*  I totally blame Patty for getting this song stuck in my head.  (I'll let her explain why!)

**  Fortunately, Patty is left-handed!

***  We were planning on going to Rhinebeck together this year.  NEXT year, Patty!  Next year!



Suddenly . . . it's fall.

(I can't deny it any longer.  Summer is gone.)

And there is MUCH to be done.  Work projects.  Home projects.  Catching up.  Just a whole lot going on right now.

Before I left for Utah (way back in September!), I purchased some mums, ornamental kale, and pansies.  I planned to re-fresh my containers for fall as I cleaned up around the garden. 

I want fall color and texture at my entry way.


I want to look out my kitchen window and see some bright pops of color in an otherwise turning bleak garden.


But I've had a tough time finding the time for gardening -- especially now that the daylight is so limited, and I can't garden in the evenings any longer.

What's a gardener to do?

This one takes some short cuts!


I empty my containers (of their now-dying summer plants and used-up soil), place weight in the bottom (bricks or small buckets of rocks) so they don't tip over in a breeze, and then just pop the fall plants - still in their nursery containers - right in!


Certainly not "proper gardening." 


But it gets the job done.


I get pops of fall color and texture without a huge investment of my (very limited) time.


(Now to add pumpkins!)





Not all weekends are productive weekends.  But this one was.  For me.

I can't tell you much more than that, though.

Because. . . what would I blog about, otherwise?


View of my neighbor's front yard. . . from my computer.


Ten Things I Did This Weekend:

  1. Out for dinner with Tom.
  2. Spin class.
  3. Paint.
  4. Catch up on paperwork.
  5. Winterize garden, Part I.
  6. Walk with Jenny.
  7. Cook for Brian.
  8. Laundry.
  9. Grocery shopping.
  10. Paint some more (2nd coat).

Overwhelmed by the excitement? 

Me?  Not so much.  But it was productive.  (And I needed that.)  Boom!


Join the fun!  Sign up for Ten on Tuesday here.


Alta . . . tude

I've been back home for a week, now.  And I'm s-l-o-w-l-y coming to grips with the fact that I'm not sitting around knitting with friends. . . outside in the sunshine. . . in the mountains. 

With waitstaff bringing me Bloody Marys at noon.

So.  Here's one last look at Utah . . . and the Alta Knitter's Retreat . . . through a Michigan-der's lens!


My knitting . . . at the beginning of the retreat. . .with a nice cup of tea!


The view from my room at Alta Lodge.


The "beach" . . . where knitters congregate to knit in the mountain air.


Bloody Marys at noon!


And my knitting . . . at the end of the retreat!


Nearly a whole sleeve . . . that will always remind me of a fabulous weekend in Utah.

A sleeve . . . with Alta. . .tude!



Friday, already?

Really.  Where does the time go?


This weekend, I'll be. . .

  • catching up
  • painting
  • working in the garden
  • mothering Brian (who'll be home for a short fall break)

Enjoy your weekend.  I'll catch you on the flip side!

Hostess With The Mostess

My trip to Utah was fabulous.  Perfect in every, single way.  Stunning views.  Great food.  Wonderful company.  Ideal setting.  Just . . . perfect.

And the force behind it all?  Why, Margene!

Margene took me to visit the gardens at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City.


Simply stunning!


We also saw lots of fountains, statues, and tributes to seagulls (and that's all I have to say about that).


Margene (and Smith) gave me a tour of their lovely community garden.


Can you imagine tending your vegetables against this backdrop?  Breathtaking!


The next day, Margene took Carole and I for breakfast . . .


and then for a hike around Silver Lake.  No wonder this is one of Margene's favorite places!


She showed us the changing aspens, and explained about aspen colonies.


She drove us up and up and up . . . to what seemed like the edge of the earth . . .but what was really just mountains stretching on for . . . ever!


And then she drove us down and down. . . into charming little mountain towns (this one is Park City) with charming little microbreweries!


Margene took us yarn shopping, where I didn't take any photos.  (I was too busy checking out the Shibui . . . which I've never actually seen in real life before.)  And then, on to the Knitter's Retreat in Alta (more on that another day).


I think that what I liked best, though, was seeing Margene's mountain in person. . .


and seeing just  . . .  how she does it!


Thank you, Margene, for making last weekend possible!  You are TRULY . . . the Hostess with the Mostess!