Previous month:
February 2013
Next month:
April 2013

March 2013

Right Now . . . March 2013

So after a tough month, weather-wise (snow in March is never welcome, y'know?), it appears that March is . . . going out like a lamb!  Fine by me!

Here's what's happening in my life  . . . RIGHT NOW.


Watching . . . I'm re-watching Season 5 of Mad Men on Netflix right now in preparation for Season 6 (which begins on April 7).  I love to watch little Sally Draper . . . who is roughly the same age in the show as I was in real-time.  I'm always telling Tom . . . "I had those exact sheets!"  "I had those very shoes!"  "I had a locket just like that."  (He humors me.)  (And, of course.  There is Don.)  I'm also planning to check out Mr. Selfridge on Masterpiece Theater this Sunday night.

Reading . . . There are so many excellent books out there!  My to-read list is growing ever longer, and I lament my lack of reading time.  Right now, I'm enjoying Frances and Bernard immensely (this is an epistolary novel - letters - based on the correspondence of real-life authors Flannery O'Connell and Robert Lowell), and I'm also reading David Copperfield, my favorite Dickens of all time.  (Frances and Bernard is very short, and should be a quick read.  I, however, am savoring it slowly.  The writing is such a delight!)


Knitting . . . I'm doing an informal "knit-a-long" with some of my Kalamazoo knitting pals.  We're each making ChicKnit's Elisbeth cardigan (short sleeve version).  I'm actually a couple more repeats into the knit than the photo (above) shows.  It's a bit of a slog, I'll admit.  But I'm having fun with the cables.  I'm also knitting a spring-color version of this shawl.  And trying not to get too carried away with not-wool inspiration from this or this.

Listening to . . . Buena Vista Social Club.  They just make it feel like the sun is shining . . .and you're enjoying a gin and tonic . . . on the patio.


Thinking about . . . Priorities.  Setting them.  Having them.  Living them.  Life is full of options.

Dreading . . . Some dental work toward the end of April.  Ugh.  But not really much else right now.  (I'm in a good place this spring.)

Humming . . . Songs about sunshine.  Good Day Sunshine.  You are the Sunshine of My Life.  Walking in Sunshine.  But this is the one that is stuck in my head (enjoy it old school and original). . .


Planning . . . Gardens!  I have Big Ideas right now.  Some of them have been in-the-making for a couple of years.  This year . . . It Is Time.  (Get your diggin' shoes on, Tom!)


Celebrating . . . So very many things.  My birthday is tomorrow.  Jenny's leash restriction is over.  I'll be picking up my Mac later today.  Sunshine and mid-50s in the forecast.  (I'm ignoring the snow that is also in the forecast.)  

Drinking . . . Oberon.  (The Bell's Oberon release date is always like a birthday present to me!)

Itching to . . . Dig.  Not wear a coat.  Get a pedicure.  Wear my flip-flops.  Sit outside in the sunshine.

Needing to . . . Finish my taxes. I have started.  And, like they say. . . Once begun, half done.  So I must be at least half done by now!


Organizing . . .  The prime organization task on my to-do list is one I actually look forward to:  Switching out my winter clothes for my lighter spring and summer fare.  Can't wait!  (And check out the little notepads I found at Target for my written organizational tasks.  Love them!)

Inspired by . . . Surprises that are cropping up in my life.  Just little things. . . that really ARE surprising, when you stop and think about it.


Delighted by. . . Sort of wish I hadn't found these.  Because. . . YUM!

How about YOU?  What's going on for YOU . . . right now?

And It Continues


Not snow.

And not complaints about my computer being gone.

But this.


It's the ChapStick thing.  I'm having a hard time letting go.

Last week I stopped in at The Body Shop to pick up a few things.  (And to spend my $10 "birthday gift" coupon they sent me in the mail.) I was drawn (like a moth to a flame, Erin!) to the lip gloss section.  I ended up with these two

Note:  These lip glosses are pricey.  $10 each.  (Although I just noticed that they're on sale on this week for $7.50 on The Body Shop website.)  I used my coupon to get one of them, but then couldn't decide on just one color, so ended up with both.  I hate when marketing ploys work on me  like that.

Anyway.  These are more gloss-like than balm-like.  They add a nice shine to your lips without feeling heavy or gloppy (although initially it seemed like it would be gloppy; I was pleasantly surprised once I actually wore it).  It lasts a long time, feels light after you've got it on, and doesn't have a flavor.  Not being a lipstick-wearer (ahem), I like the hint of color I get from the peach-ish one (not detected by Tom at all).  These are just nice glosses if you're going for a little glam!

And then there's this one. . .


As you remember from my ChapStick Challenge, one of my new favorites is the Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner . . . sadly, discontinued by Aveeno.  I've been snapping them up whenever I see them in stores, though, and I even ordered some online.  I have quite a supply, and they should last for awhile.  (As you can see, I'm mostly finding them in the Clearance aisles these days.)

And, lastly, I give you a Tale of a Satisfied Customer.

Brian was home for his spring break last week.  When he arrived, he complained about a pretty intense crack in his lip that "just wouldn't heal" and claimed "I've tried everything."

I handed him a tube of this. . .


(Because, of course, he hadn't tried everything.)

His lip was greatly improved in one day; completely healed in two.

He took the tube back to school with him,

Hurray for the ChapStick Challenge!  But, really.  I need to let it go.


Words in the Wild

The most-excellent bottle cap from Arrogant Bastard Ale (Stone Brewing Company). . .


Happy Wednesday!


Best News This Week:  My computer is ready and I can pick it up any time.  Which won't be until Friday. . . because my schedule is a bit tight this week.  But still.  I'm a Happy Camper.

If I Had a Million Dollars. . .


As soon as I read Carole's email about this week's Ten on Tuesday topic. . . this song just flew into my head. . .


I never buy lottery tickets.

But Tom does.

Only when the jackpot is pie-in-the-sky high, though.

And then he usually buys $20 worth of tickets.

And we talk about what we would do if we won.


Here's our list. . . Ten Things We'd Do If We Won the Big Powerball Jackpot:

  1. Quit our jobs.  (Hands down.  We would walk away.)
  2. Pay off our mortgage.  (Which is, truth be told, almost paid off anyway.)
  3. Take an extended luxury trip to New Zealand.  (Like. . . right now.)
  4. Set up trust funds for our kids.  With strings.  (Sorry guys.  We think life shouldn't be TOO easy.)
  5. Start a private foundation.  (Because there would be a whole lot left, at this point.)
  6. Start our own microbrewery.  (Wouldn't that be perfect?)
  7. Hire Brian and Erin and Keith to run it.  (And wouldn't that be fun?)
  8. Travel.
  9. Travel more.
  10. Travel even more.

How about YOU?  What would YOU do . . . if you won the PowerBall Lottery?


This week's topic also reminded me of a great, lottery movie:  Waking Ned Devine.  It's quite delightful, and definitely worth a watch!


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


The Evidence

Now that the snow is melting, I like to get out in my garden and check things out.  Usually I just walk around a bit . . . remembering; doing a little dreaming; a little scheming.

Yesterday, though, I decided to take it a step further.  I decided to Garden.

Sure.  It's barely above freezing here, and snow is still lingering in some parts of the yard.  But, well. . .  I'm itchy . . . and a little bit twitchy . . . to get to gardening.  Besides, NOW is a great time to start in with some pruning (except on those spring-blooming shrubs; don't prune those yet) and some of the clean-up chores.

As long as you can stand the cold, that is!

So I put on my winter jacket. 
And a wool hat. 
And a pair of fingerless mitts OVER my gardening gloves. 
Then I grabbed my pruners, and headed out for some time in the garden.

Yikes.  My fingers were frozen solid within 30 minutes!  But I did get some pruning and cleaning up done . . . at least in one corner of my backyard bed . . . before frostbite set in.

And guess what?



Even though snow is in the forecast this week (yeah; I know), it looks like spring IS coming.


I have proof!

Plan B

Okay.  So I got my beloved computer to the Apple store in Grand Rapids yesterday.  Through a near-blizzard, just to make things even more convenient.  And , really, it's all going to be just fine.  But it is going to be several days before I get My Precious back.

I miss it.

But mostly, I am amazed at how ill-prepared I am to live without it. 

Take blogging, for example.

I had plans for the stories I wanted to tell on the blog this week.  A little baby sweater I knit.  A couple more interesting tidbits from the Flower Show.  A cute little Spring card I scanned. 

But I forgot something.

I forgot that my photos are on my Mac.  And that they are on my backup drive.  Which is only formatted for a Mac.  And that my laptop - the only computer I have at my disposal at present - is Not a Mac.

So.  I have no good access to my pictures. 

But that's okay.  Because . . . I have no photo editor right now, either. 

What I do have is a Windows laptop that I use to access the computer network at my office.  There isn't much on it.  Just what I need for work.  

My planned blog posts will have to wait.  For now, you get . . .

Plan B!



(Thanks iPhone Hipstamatic . . . for being easy to deal with on my computer that isn't a Mac.)

Heavy Load: A Ten on Tuesday Riff


Today . . . there is a song screaming in my head.

Here.  I'll share.


Because today is a Hard Day.  And I need a little George Harrison to keep me on track.

Give me hope.

Help me cope.

Ten Random Things on My Mind . . .


  1. My computer. . . my beloved, precious iMac . . . is going in for a replacement hard drive.  (Part of an Apple Recall.)  Today.*
  2. This makes me nervous. 
  3. Really nervous.
  4. Because, well.  I depend on my computer.  I need my computer.  (I'll just say it. . . )  I love my computer.
  5. And, really, there isn't anything wrong with my iMac.  No indication of any kind of hard drive malfunction at all.  But the deadline for replacement is drawing near.
  6. So I need to do it.
  7. Just in case.
  8. Brian (who is home for Spring Break) has been helping me get through my Separation Anxiety.  He reminded me that  it's much better to replace the hard drive . . . while the current hard drive is functional (and, thus, a back-up in itself).  It would be worse (oh so much worse) if my hard drive crashed.  (I can't bear the thought.)
  9. So.  To Grand Rapids and the Apple store we go. 
  10. It's a heavy load. . .


*I have no idea how long I'll be without my computer.  Maybe a day or two; maybe a week or more.  They wouldn't say at the Apple Store (although I'm pretty sure they have a good idea).  Also, no Apple Store in Kalamazoo, so there is a distance hassle as well.  I still have a Windows laptop that I use for work, so I won't lose total touch.  But. . . if you don't hear from me for awhile, you'll know why!


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



Just What I Needed

It's always tough to be a gardener in Michigan . . . come March. 

It's the time of year when you're itchin' to get out there.  In the dirt.  Digging.  You just can't wait to have dirt under your nails again.  To drag hoses around.   To pull some weeds.

But, alas.  Spring is a tease.  It's still freezing cold here.  With snow in the forecast.

What's a gardener to do?

Get thee to a flower show!


The Chicago Flower & Garden Show never disappoints.


Even though it's inside a cavernous exhibition hall deep within Navy Pier, it smells like . . . SPRING . . . as soon as you step inside.


Flowers and trees and streams . . . everywhere you look.  (And, sure.  Don't you want to have waterfalls streaming from horns in YOUR garden?  Yeah.  Some of the ideas are WAY Over the Top.  But it's a show.  Anything goes!)

There is whimsy . . .


(I'm pretty sure this little sod-dog was the Most Photographed Display at the whole show.)

There is fun . . .


(This pelican water "fountain" was in a tiny little water feature in a bowl that could fit on any patio or deck.)

There are new plant offerings. . .


(This one is a Dwarf Japanese White Pine.)

There are OVER the TOP "tablescapes". . .


(Perfect if you never want to actually see or converse with your dinner companions!)

There is "plant-art". . .


(My photos cannot do justice to the moss gardens on display.  They were truly beautiful.)

There are things to buy. . .


(Like these earrings . . . made of real boxwood leaves and dipped in copper . . . that made it home with me!  That's the jewelry artist there, in the background.)

And there are things to learn. . .


(I went to a workshop on building patios with pavers.  Lucky Tom.)

Mostly, though, there is Inspiration. . .


From the Very Practical . . .


To the Wouldn't This Be Cool?. . .


To color combinations and plant groupings that excite . . .


A day at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show ... was Just What I Needed!