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March 2013

Just a Glimpse

I spent the day yesterday here . . .


I had a glimpse of spring.


Everywhere I looked.


It was wonderful.  Inspiring.  And refreshing.


But, Spring?  Ahhhhh.  Such a tease!


Me, too, I guess.  I'll share more sights from the Flower Show next week.  For now . . . just a glimpse. . . will have to suffice!


Enjoy the weekend!

As I Head Out the Door

I'm off this morning for an exciting day here . . . on Navy Pier in Chicago.  (So excited!)  But. . . thought I'd share this before I leave.

Check it out. . .


Such cool eggs. . . there on the cover of the new issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  Full instructions inside.  I'm going to have to try this!

Not-At-All-Wordless on Wednesday

A lot of bloggers practice "Wordless Wednesday."  I love Wordless Wednesday posts!  They're such a wonderful way to highlight and celebrate the power of The Image; telling a whole story with just one photo.  No words.

I've done a few Wordless Wednesday posts myself.  But my personal challenge tends to be . . . not saying something.  Words creep in.  (It's My Way, I'm afraid.)

In fact, a lot of times, words creep into my images!  Recently, I was looking through my "camera roll" on my iPhone, and I realized that . . . I take a lot of photos of words.  Words . . . out in the wild. 

So I've decided that, from time to time, on Wednesdays, I'm going to share "Words in the Wild."  Sort of wordless.  But not really.  (No.  Not really at all.)


Happy Wednesday!


Green Light


This weekend we celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  The Wearin' o' the Green.  Guinness.  Shamrocks.  Leprechauns.  All that.

What better time. . . to think about our Favorite Green Things!

Frostic Frog

So.  Let's begin.  Hit it, Al.


  1. Yeah.  Al Green.  Let's Stay Together.  Great song.
  2. Wicked.  My favorite green musical!
  3. Foliage.  As a gardener, I rarely meet a green I do not love.
  4. Green tea.  Especially from my sweet green teapot.
  5. Key Lime Pie.  Quite possibly my most favorite dessert.
  6. Fresh Herbs.  Parsley.  Sage.  Rosemary.  And thyme.
  7. Fried Green Tomatoes.  The food.  The book.  AND the movie.
  8. Christmas Trees.  Deck the Halls.
  9. Critters.  Frogs, turtles, the Praying Mantis. . . and lightning bugs!
  10. Money.  Yep.  It's what makes the world go around.


How about YOU?  What's your favorite Green Thing?


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


Glowin' Like the Metal on the Edge of a Knife

Remember this one?*


Sometimes, as a Knitter, I find it hard to be True to Just One Project.  You know.  Knitting away.  Day in.  Day out.  Looking at that same old. . . pile of stitches.  Hearing the same old . . . knits and purls.   Becoming familiar with . . . every inch.

Will you love me?  Will you love me forever?

Will  you need me?  Will you never leave me?


Let me sleep on it. 

Baby, baby. 

Let me sleep on it.

Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?


I gotta know RIGHT NOW.

And when a feeling came upon me like a tidal wave, I started praying to my god and on my mother's grave that I would love you to the end of time.

I swore that I would love you to the end of time!


Anyway.  It's amazing how quickly you can turn out a sweater . . . when you're True to Just One Project.  Paradise. . . by the dashboard lights!

(Although, I must admit.  By the end of the knitting. . . I was praying for the end of time. . . to hurry up and arrive!)

Ravelry details here.


* I can't even count the number of times I belted this one out . . . into my hairbrush. . . with my college pals!  Or even with Tom.  Last week.  In the kitchen.  (But no hairbrushes.)


Driving Ms. Gloria

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities.  Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

--- Gloria Steinem

It's March -- which makes it Women's History Month.  And today - March 8 - is International Women's Day.  An appropriate time to tell you a story.  About the day I was the driver. 

For Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinem

It was 1992 when Gloria came to town.  I was 33 years old.  Living in Grand Rapids.  Working for a women's foundation.  Mommy to a toddler and a baby.  And a huge fan of Gloria Steinem since my teen years!

To further set the mood and tone, consider this.  Gloria Steinem was coming to town on the day after the 1992 Presidential election.  The election Bill Clinton won.  The timing couldn't have been better for the organizers of the Big Event!

So Gloria came to Grand Rapids, and she gave a rocking, rolling, inspriational talk for a standing-room-only crowd.  It was awesome.  The next day, she was going to speak at the Council of Michigan Foundations conference in Battle Creek -- just a little over an hour drive away -- and then on to the Kalamazoo airport.

I got the call.

Kym, how would you like to drive Gloria to Battle Creek?

In my mini-van?


And so it was.  I was going to spend the day with one of my personal (s)heroes!  I was going to drive Gloria Steinem!  I scrambled to clean the kid-detritus out of my mini-van.  (Except for the car seats.  They had to stay.)  I stressed about what to wear.  (I wore black.)  I worried that I would say something stupid.  Or babble.  Or that my mouth would gape open.  Or that I would get a ticket.  Or get lost.

But, really.  It was all just fine.

I met her for breakfast.  She was . . . just like you'd expect Gloria Steinem to be!  Smart.  Astute.  Confident.  And completely engaging and easy to talk to.  Very down-to-earth.  Very . . . comfortable.

Since we had plenty of time, she asked if I'd show her around Grand Rapids.  So we hopped in my mini-van, and off we went.  As we passed the local offices of Planned Parenthood, she asked if we could stop in.  So we did.  She just walked through their offices and said hello.  And thanked them for their important work.  And then got back in my mini-van and we headed for Battle Creek.

Part way there, as we were hurtling down the highway south to Battle Creek, Gloria Steinem asked me if I'd mind if she took a bit of a nap.

Oh, no, I said.  Not at all, I said.  And I began explaining how to put the seat back.

But, no.

Gloria Steinem was climbing into my back seat!  Where the car seats were.  She unbuckled them and tossed them into the "way back" (as Erin called it).  Brushed the crumbs and cheerios and crumpled dinosaur stickers onto the floor.  And laid down on my mini-van seat for her nap!

(While I was driving down the highway.)

I was sort of mortified.  (Who knows what you'll find under car seats!)  But, like I said.  Gloria Steinem was completely down-to-earth.  Very easy and comfortable to be around.

And there she was.  Napping on the back seat of my mini-van.

The day went like clockwork.  We arrived in Battle Creek.  She gave a keynote presentation.  I took her to the airport.  She hugged me and thanked me when I dropped her off.

I'll never forget it!  My stint . . . Driving Ms. Gloria!


Window Garden

Over these last few "dark months," I've written about my efforts at . . . creating light. . . in my surroundings.  As the days got darker, I focused on my windows, trying to make them more inviting and light-full. 

I hung stained glass suncatchers in windows to catch the light.  I created  little "vignettes" of objects I particularly like on my windowsills.  I put candles in my windows.  And I created a window garden.


All of these little efforts helped to create a bit more light in the dark days of winter.  But I think my window garden made the biggest difference for my spirits.


That's probably just the gardener in me . . . connecting with living plants through the non-growing season.


But I think it's actually deeper than that.


The tending.  The watering.  The new growth.


All reminders . . . that everything cycles.  Seasons change.


Light comes.  Again.

One Little Word Wednesday


Last month, our assignment for One Little Word was to create a "vision board" inspired by our word.   A "vision board" is, essentially, a visual intention -- a collection of images and words of what you'd like to invite into your life.

I have created many "vision boards" over the years -- in many forms.  Scrapbook collections of images and phrases I particularly like.  Bulletin boards of inspiring photos and quotes.  Collages of ideas.  (Before there was Pinterest. . . there were "vision boards!")

I had a great time with this project.  I gathered some magazines and my scissors, and I let the images and words shout out at me.  Then I mod-podged it all onto a 16 x 20 canvas from Michaels. 

Here's what I ended up with (click the photo to see it even bigger):


The process was therapeutic.  The just-looking (not reading).  The cutting out.  The deciding.  The gluing-it-down.


I loved the whole "old-school" nature of the project.

And I love what surfaced in all that cutting and pasting.



Oh, March. How Do I Love Thee?

March is a very fickle month. 

The weather is a total crap shoot.  Could be winter-like; could be summer-like.  It is an ugly time of year (in Michigan, anyway).  Dirty snow piles; pot holes; rusted-off mufflers on the side of the road; dead everything.  Too much basketball.

And yet . . .

I'm always delighted when it's March!


How come . . . you ask?  Well, here are 10 Reasons I'm Happy It's March:

  1. The very word . . . MARCH . . . is full of movement.  Forward movement!
  2. More daylight.  I just feel so much more productive when there is more light in my day.
  3. Melting.  All around, the snow piles are melting.  (And even if when it snows again, it won't stick around for long.)
  4. Earthy smells.  When the snow starts to melt, the air smells so good.
  5. Emerging things.  Daffodils.  Crocus.  Hellebores.  (Can't wait!)
  6. Walking on dry pavement.  (The ice layer is beginning to recede.)
  7. Bird joy!  It's everywhere, suddenly.
  8. Gardening conferences and workshops.  There are so many to choose from in March!
  9. Spring cleaning.  I actually like sifting through and sorting out the heavy "detritus" of winter . . . to make room for a fresh, new season.
  10. My birthday!  Some things never change -- and I've always looked forward to my birthday. . . waaaay out there. . . at the very end of March.

How about you?  Why are YOU happy it's March?


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


A Winter Diversion: The ChapStick Challenge - Epilogue

Here we are, at the end of my ChapStick Challenge.  I've had a lot of fun trying out new "lip health" products over the last month.  Some I've really liked.  Some . . . not so much.  In the end, here are my new favorites:


For fun . . . the eos sphere in "sweet mint."

For overnight . . . Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy.

For general, all-purpose daytime lip balm. . . Aveeno Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner -- the apparently discontinued product.  (Not to worry, though -- I just ordered a 6-pack online!  I should be good for a while.)

For long-lasting moisture (like during a hard workout). . . Blistex Moisture Melt.

And . . . what's that other product?  There in back?  Why. . . something new!


Last week, a friend (and professional flute player, so she really knows her lip products!) brought me a tube of this stuff.  It's heavenly!  A bit pricey --- and not available locally in my neck of the woods (although available online from several distributors) -- this oversized tube of lip balm goodness  smells great, doesn't have a flavor, feels nice and smooth on the lips, and lasts for a long time.  I love it!  (It's gluten-free, too.)

And that just goes to show you that this winter diversion could go on for a long, long time!  There are so many lip balm products out there to choose from.  Really, I've only just scratched the surface.  Maybe we'll do this again NEXT winter!

And CONGRATULATIONS to Marilyn -- winner of my ChapStick Challenge comment contest!  An exciting prize package of (you guessed it) lip balm will be headed Marilyn's way soon.  (Marilyn is a Burt's Bees fan -- and that's a strong endorsement coming from Marilyn, who puts up with brutal North Dakota winters and doesn't need to mess around with chapped lips!)

Thanks to all of you for playing along on my ChapStick Challenge.  It's been a fun - and moisturizing! - adventure.