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November 2013

October 2013

Right Now . . . October 2013

The signs are all there: 

  • So dark so much more of the time.
  • Leaves in piles on the road.
  • I'm wearing tights.
  • And shoes.
  • Halloween.


Yep.  October is at an end!

What's happening . . . Right Now?


Watching . . . The sky!  The clouds are so different in the fall than they are in the summer -- and especially now, as the colder days are settling in.

Reading . . . Someone by Alice McDermott.  Also Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by David Rakoff.  Usually, I have one book I'm "reading" and one book I'm "listening to."  This go 'round, I was listening to the Rakoff book.  But.  The narrated version just wasn't working for me (and I really did try) -- but between the lines of poetry, the sparse narrative, and David Rakoff's voice . . . I was just missing too much.  So I gave up and went in search of a copy of the book.  Now I'm "reading" both books.  (And, truth be told, I'm liking Someone a whole lot more.)

Knitting . . . Now that I finished this monster, I've decided to pick up an old project that's been just languishing in my knitting bag for about a year now.  Yes.  I've started working on Leftie again.  I "left" it last November to begin Christmas knitting.  I also wound some yarn last night for an Easy Folded Poncho.  I've been thinking about knitting this one for a long, long time -- and, then, when I saw Mary's earlier this week. . . I knew.  Time to cast on!

Listening to. . . Arcade Fire. (Their new album is really good, even though this video is really lame.)


Planning . . . Starting to get my head around the upcoming holidays.

Drinking . . . Mostly wine.  But on Friday nights, Tom and I celebrate with a wee dram of some Really Fine port.


Needing to . . . Work at obedience training with Jo-Jo a bit more intentionally.  (And with purpose.)

Itching to . . . Re-design ALL the things!  My blog space.  Sections of my garden.  Whole rooms of my house.

Organizing . . . Little bits of spaces here and there.  A shelf.  A drawer.  A cupboard.  (So much more manageable that way.)

Humming . . . Oh, yeah.  You know it!  Doo do doo, doo do do do doo . . .


Inspired by . . . All the holiday recipes and menus in my favorite cooking magazines.

Delighted by . . . Friends who send links . . . like to the 75% off Secret Sale at Kate Spade.  (Oh, double-yeah.)

Surprised by . . . How much MESS two dogs actually make!


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



Little Luxuries

I think there really might be nothing better . . . than a day off! 

You know.  That feeling when you wake up on a Monday morning and realize, "Hey! It's a holiday!"  Or when you wake up to lots of snow . . . and a snow day!  Or when you've finally decided to spend one of your treasured Personal Days!


A whole day.

Just for yourself.


What do you do . . . on those special, open days?  Here's what I do:

  1. Wake up late
  2. Have a leisurely cup of coffee
  3. Go for a run - or maybe head to the gym
  4. Take a too-long shower
  5. Knit a little
  6. Read a little
  7. Play with the dogs
  8. Putter around in the house
  9. And the garden
  10. Just recharge and enjoy

How about YOU?  What do you like to do on a day off?


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

From Up and Down

A little Joni Mitchell to start your week off right!


As a rule, I never sign up for any of the "mystery" knits that pop up on Ravelry.  Even when I really like - and trust - a designer.  I guess I just really need to see the design first.  To determine whether it's actually a design that would work for me.  And to make the best choice of yarn for the project.  (Although, heaven knows, I've made plenty of wrong yarn-choices over the years.  Plenty!  And always when the design was right there in front of me!)

Anyway.  I don't sign up for "mystery" knits (but I applaud those of you who DO.  Because GO you risk-takers!), but sometimes I choose to knit the pattern after the "mystery" is revealed.

Such is the case with this one . . . Kirsten Kapur's 2013 Mystery Shawl.


As soon as I saw Margene's (and she DID participate in the mystery-knitting, I might add!), I knew I wanted to knit one, too.


I love the simple-yet-elegant lace panels.


And I'm charmed by the alternating stripe panels.

Lace AND Stripes.


Both sides now.


Ravelry details here.

And my most very special thanks go to Kim -- who guided me through my color choices with advice and suggestions and photos.  Her yarn is the absolute loveliest I've ever knit with.  (I'm actually trying to figure out how I can knit only with Kim's merino-cashmere blends from now on. . .)  THANKS KIM!!!




Color Watch 2013: Oct 25

This week, the colors aren't really popping like they might.

Because. . .



We got snow.


Not a lot.

Just wet.  And cold.

Big, sloppy flakes.


It's not sticking around.

(Not yet.)


But it is putting a damper on this year's color watch.

Wherever you are, I hope your weekend is full of color!



We tell our kids . . . You can do anything you want!

And we mean it.  We really do.  Because we see The Potential and we know about Chasing Your Dreams and we trust that there will be Really Great Things Ahead for them.

But sometimes . . . reality bites.  They graduate with a neat and tidy degree, all wrapped up and ready to take on the world.  Sometimes, they even get an even neater and tidier Masters degree, even more determined to take on the world.

Sometimes . . . there are bumps in the road.

Sometimes . . . you have to work at Rite Aid so you can pay the rent.

Sometimes . . . you take an unpaid internship - for the experience - and discover there is no desk for you.  And you have to bring your own laptop.  And you have no access to the organization's network.  Or even the internet.  And you also don't even have an outlet to plug your laptop into electricity.  And there really is no direction.

Sometimes . . . you are one-of-two-finalists for position . . . after position. . . after position.  Losing out each time . . . to Experience.

Sometimes . . . you go on an endless stream of seemingly-pointless informational interviews.

It really is a tough world for our kids these days - in terms of getting a job.  A real job.  A challenging, career-focused, full-time job WITH benefits.  It takes a lot of work . . . to find work.  It's discouraging and disheartening and humbling.  And extremely frustrating!

But sometimes . . . the hard work and the time and the hustling pay off.  And the Most Perfect Job just kind of lands in your lap.  Right when you were at the End of Your Rope.


So, Erin.  As you start your new, career-track job today (full-time, WITH benefits!), remember that you CAN do anything you want.  Sometimes it just takes a lot of soul-searching, the ability to dig deep, and the hustle to keep trying to make it happen.

Congratulations, Ms. Editorial Assistant.

Welcome to the world of 9-5!


Not Your Mother's Kitchen Cupboard!


One night this past summer, Tom and I were eating dinner and talking about how funny it was that so many of the foods we eat every day . . . were never on the table when we were kids!  (Or even young adults, for that matter.)

Part of that, I think, is that we were kids in the 60s -- an era that brought us instant everything:  instant mashed potatoes, Shake-and-Bake, instant oatmeal, Hamburger Helper, cake mixes, Tang, and Space Food Sticks! 


Yeah.  Space Food Sticks.  ("Find them next to "Instant Breakfast"!)  I used to have Space Food Sticks in my school lunches.  (Right in there with the olive loaf sandwich, the Lays bar-b-que potato chips, and the Hostess Twinkie.)

(It was all about fast back then; forget flavor!)


It's funny to think about all the things we eat NOW . . . that we couldn't have imagined THEN!  Here are 10 things in my pantry/refrigerator today. . . that you'd never have found in my mom's kitchen:

  1. Balsamic vinegar
  2. Arugula
  3. Feta cheese
  4. Artichoke hearts
  5. Madagascar vanilla
  6. Green lentils
  7. Herbes de Provence
  8. Greek yogurt
  9. Steel-cut oatmeal
  10. Salmon (let alone sushi-grade salmon!)

How about YOU?  What's are you eating now . . . that you didn't eat then?


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

Buttoned Up

These days, my garden looks like this:


I think it's lovely, in that end-of-season way.


But it's time to prepare the garden for the dormant season ahead.

We spent a lot of time out in the landscape over the weekend.



(These guys will all come inside to live in my windows this winter.)



(What goes into the yard waste collection; what goes into compost pile.)

Cutting back.

Cleaning out.

Putting away.

Planting.  (Yeah.  I still had some things to get in the ground before it freezes.)

And taking in the spectacular color.


(My dwarf fothergilla.)

Time to get everything all buttoned up for winter.

Because THIS.


(Here it comes.)