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June 2014

Right Now . . . June 2014

June . . . 

What a busy, bursting-at-the-seams, blooming month!


What's happening in my world . . . RIGHT NOW?


Watching . . . Sunsets. (Which seem to be more awesome every night.)  Fireflies.  (Saw my first one of the season just last night.)  Weeds.  (We've had plenty of rain this year, so everything - including the weeds! - are enjoying a bumper crop.)

Reading . . . All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  I'm nearly half-way in, and let me tell you -- this book is totally living up to its hype!  I'm still re-reading Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (the book I first loved and read in 1983), and finding ... it's as good as I remember!


(I realize this shot is completely . . . unappealling.  The color is so much more awesome in real life.  Plus . . . mystery.  So you'll have to wait to see it in all its glory.)

Knitting . . . Lately, it's been All-Mystery-Shawl-All-the-Time around here!  So far, I'm keeping up with the clues (last one out this weekend!) and really loving the design.  There's something magical to me about knitting lace in the summer -- so this lace-y mystery is really fitting my life right now.  That said, I'm ready to embark on something a little less brain-taxing.  I have this in mind.  And . . . I may finally cast on for one of these.

Listening to . . . Dar Williams.


Dreading . . . Dealing with the ugly string algae in my little garden ponds.  (I'll spare you a photo.  Just picture . . . ugh.)  (Also -- last month I showed you a photo of my shattered iPhone screen.  The fix was super-easy!  I had the screen replaced.  It looks like a brand new phone.  And now, my phone is safely ensconced in an OtterBox.)

Planning . . . What to take with me on my vacation up north.  (Which begins TODAY!)  (Knitting and reading materials being vital for a quiet week away!) 

Humming . . . When I got my new car last month, it came with 3 free months of satellite radio.  It didn't take me 30 seconds to locate the Pearl Jam station.  This song has been stuck in my head for a couple of days now. . .


Wondering . . . How people can manage knitting rather complicated lace from just the written directions?  I am in awe!  I have always knit lace from a chart - which seems super intuitive to me.  But I know that there are lots of knitters who prefer knitting from written directions.  

Drinking . . . Peachy Canyon Zinfandel (my current favorite).

Itching to . . . Sort out some things that are bugging me and get some perspective.  (I think a week up north ought to help with that.)

Needing to . . . Tackle the weeds that are EVERYwhere in my garden this year -- and especially in my herb garden.  Lots of rain = lush plantings + WEEDS!

Organizing . . .  Garden stuff.  Now that the biggest rush of planting is (for the most part) finished, I can take some time and organize my potting bench and gardening tools, etc.


Delighted by . . . Playing ball with JoJo.  Because she actually brings the ball back - and gives it to me! - to throw again.  Interactive fun for both of us!  (Jenny, by contrast, is always more of a tug-of-war dog.  I throw the ball; she catches the ball; then we have to tug for it.  Jenny always wins. . .with her jaws-of-steel.)


Inspired by . . . My sewing machine and the Vogue pattern super-sale I ran into at JoAnn Fabrics last week.

Celebrating . . . Vacation.  Starting today!


Pleased with . . . My new patio furniture!

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . Right Now?


Words in the Wild . . . Clever Marketing

When Erin was in town last week, we made a couple of trips to one of our favorite local restaurants, Food Dance, for breakfast (arguably, Erin's favorite meal of the day).  Food Dance is known for creating a fabulous menu using fresh, local ingredients.  

I appreciate their food and sustainable practices.

I also love their clever marketing!

How about this poster for their grilling classes?



Now. . . who wouldn't want to "get high and play with fire"???

Or this banner in their parking lot?  (They are only a block away from the festival site in downtown Kalamazoo.  And we have a LOT of festivals here.)


Food Dance = great food + clever marketing!

They Say It's Your Birthday . . .


This week's Ten on Tuesday topic . . . is 10 Ways to Wish Someone a Happy Birthday.  And I'm afraid I have . . . um . . . well, not much to add to the topic.

Because I'm dull.  And do the usual.  Send a card.  Give a gift.  Make a cake.  Go out for a meal.  Same old, same old.  Important ways to celebrate, certainly.  Just not terribly unique, I'm afraid!

Erin's birthday cake. 25 candles!

So I started thinking about my own birthday instead - March 30.  And how . . . it falls at kind of an odd time.  A time when Things Happen.

Here's my strange twist on today's topic . . . 10 Weird Ways the World has Wished Me a Happy Birthday!

Van Gogh's "Sunflowers"
  1. During my lifetime, Easter has fallen on my birthday three times:  in 1975, 1986, and 1997.  It kind of looks like a pattern.  Except . . . before 1975, the previous March 30 Easter was in 1902.  And it won't fall on March 30 again until 2059!  (Which will be my 100th birthday, by the way.)
  2. President Reagan was shot on my birthday in 1981.  (I worked at a newspaper at the time.  It was a Very Exciting Newsday!)
  3. The NCAA Basketball Championships are often being played on/around my birthday . . . falling at the end of March Madness and all.  The championship games have been played ON my birthday three times in recent history:  Men's finals in 1981 (Indiana beat North Carolina), Women's finals in 1986 (Texas beat Southern California), and the Men's finals, again, in 1998 (Kentucky beat Utah.)  What's really funny?  I graduated from both Indiana AND Texas.  Which means . . . if you're one of my alma maters, you will probably win . . . if you play on my birthday!
  4. In 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident was first reported in the media on my birthday (the incident actually began on March 28, but "big stuff" happened on March 30 -- and that's when the news reporting started).
  5. The Academy Awards have happened a couple of times on my birthday -- once in 1987 ("Platoon" won Best Picture that year) and again in 1992 (when "Silence of the Lambs" won Best Picture).  
  6. On my birthday in 1980, I was driving Tom to the airport in Denver (in my Mom's car) for his return to school after visiting me for spring break.  The car broke down in downtown Denver.  We bribed the tow truck driver to take us to the airport on the way to drop the car at a service station.  Tom made his flight; I had to fly standby back to my parents' house (then in Cheyenne, Wyoming).  My parents had to deal with the car.  (They are So Good.)
  7. In 1987, someone purchased Vincent Van Gogh's masterpiece "Sunflowers" for $36.3 million.  (I bought a magnet featuring this painting when I was in Paris; it's on my refrigerator.)
  8. Britain's Queen Mother died on my birthday in 2002.  She was 101. 
  9. On my birthday in 1972, North Vietnam troops entered South Vietnam, launching all kinds of fuss - including something called "The Easter Offensive" (because, of course, Easter must have been lurking around -- along with the NCAA basketball championships and the Academy Awards).  
  10. And who shares my birthday?  Why . . . Warren Beatty, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Celine Dion, M.C. Hammer, and Norah Jones.  

How about YOU?  How do you like to wish someone a Happy Birthday . . . or . . . what's happened on YOUR birthday?


Join the fun!  Read other Ten on Tuesday posts here, or sign up for weekly prompts here.   

Sweet Child O' Mine

Soundtrack for today . . . 


When my sweet child was still a baby child, we lived across the street from a park . . . and on the other side of the park was an elementary school.  My sweet child used to stand at the picture window in our living room every morning and watch (with great fascination) the school buses coming and going.

Erin 9 months copy

I used to look at that fuzzy little head and smooch those chubby baby cheeks and think it would be a million years before she'd leave me and go off to school in one of those buses.

And I wondered how I would bear it.

When the time came (much sooner than the million years I imagined), I did bear it.

And I just kept on bearing it, as that sweet child swirled farther and farther out into the world.

Her world.


She came home for a visit last week, my sweet child.  

So grown up.

So independent.

So . . . just where she ought to be -- living her own life . . . her own way!


Still.  She'll always be that . . . sweet child o' mine!



Words in the Wild . . . Truth

I bought a new pair of running shoes* months ago, and found these words on the box . . .


I cut the words out and tacked them on our corkboard.

Because they are true.

In our house, We Run.

Or . . . we do now!  Tom has always run -- since he was about 12 back in 7th grade.  He ran track.  He ran cross country.  He ran in college.  He ran road races.  He ran the Boston Marathon.  He runs.

Me?  Not so much.

Until last August, when I decided to Just Do It.  I started running with the Couch-to-5K app on my phone.  And I just kept going.

I don't love it, really.  But I don't mind it as much as I thought I would.

And now . . . I can say . . . We Run.


Although we don't run together!


Because one of us has a much slower pace than the other!

In fact, one of us is already at the 5K finish line . . .


while the other one still has a mile to go!

(But that's pretty much the best part for me . . . because I have my own cheering squad at the finish!)

We had a fun time running the Kalamazoo Klassic 5K last Saturday -- with much to celebrate at the end.  One of us . . . got a personal best time . . . 

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 11.10.39 PM

and one of us . . . got third place!



We run!


* Those shoes have since been replaced.  Because they made my knees hurt.

Once is Not Enough


I like to watch movies ... but usually one viewing is plenty for me!  


There are some, though, that really click with me -- and I can watch those movies over and over again.  Once is not enough . . . 


We don't have very many movies in our home DVD collection -- but we do have several of my very favorites . . .   Movies I can watch again and again . . . and never tire of:

  1. Bull Durham 
  2. High Fidelity
  3. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  4. Amelie
  5. Love Actually
  6. Waking Ned Devine
  7. Best in Show
  8. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  9. Pulp Fiction
  10. O Brother, Where Art Thou

How about YOU?  Which movies can you watch over and over?


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


Action Packed Celebration

As many of you know, at my house . . . we celebrate Father's Day with our Annual Croquet Tournament.


(We have a brand, new croquet set this year -- a gift from Keith's parents.  Our games were much improved with this new, deluxe equipment.)

As usual, we all enjoyed an afternoon of strategy . . .


trash talk . . .


concentration . . . 


amazing shots . . .


dog-dodging . . .


and visits from the "croquet fairy" (Mulligan, anyone???).


In the end, this year


we had a tie!


(Mostly because we were all really hungry and ready for dinner.  Erin and I were the last ones still in the game - and both poison - so we decided to call it a tie.)

Speaking of Erin . . . it's great to have her home for a few days . . .


and especially on her birthday!  (This year, it fell on Father's Day.)


Happy birthday, Miss Erin!  So nice that you could win the Croquet Tournament on your special day!



It's been a busy week here.

Crazy busy.

And not in that full-filled kind of way.

No time to read.

No time to blog.

No time to garden.

No time to knit lace.  (Really.  I should've known better . . .)


Enjoy these views of my garden today.

(And know it's killin' me not be out there in it.)