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July 2014

Throwback Thursday: Daisy Jane

A soundtrack to set the tone . . . 


I love daisies!


When I was a little girl, daisies were my absolute favorite flower.  They were everywhere -- in fabrics and my dresses, decorating my "groovy" toys, hanging in my locker at school, doodled on my notebooks.  They didn't grow in the actual garden of my childhood, but I was charmed whenever I saw them in the wild.  

Maybe it was the whole "flower power" thing going on through my childhood.  Daisy chains and passive resistance and be-sure-to-wear-some-flowers-in-your-hair.  You know.


Or maybe I thought they were romantic in that He-Loves-Me-He-Loves-Me-Not sort of way that I used to see in cartoons when I was a child.  


I'm not sure exactly where it came from, but I always had a certain fondness for daisies.  

I'm pretty sure I must've mentioned my "thing" for daisies to Tom in the early months of our dating.  Because one day . . .

early in 1981 . . .

I looked up from my work at the newspaper . . . 

to see two floral delivery guys . . . 

each carrying an ARMFUL of daisies* . . .

for me!

With this card . . .


(He proposed in person later.  The daisy-delivery was just the warm-up.)

I said yes!

Here is a jar filled with some of those very daisies in our apartment.  (I had daisies EVERYwhere!  At work, at home.  They were all over the place!)

Daisy do

And here is our engagement photo.**

Scan 8

And now, well . . . I will always have daisies in my garden!


Does she really love me
I think she does

Like the star above me
I know because
When the sky is bright
Everything's alright


Tom had intended to just send me a small bouquet of daisies with his special message -- and he wanted them delivered.  But . . . there was a minimum charge to be able to get free delivery from this particular florist -- and daisies are very inexpensive flowers.  Tom had to order dozens of daisies in order to hit the minimum to have them delivered.  (Talk about impact!)

** When Erin was a little girl, she looked at our engagement picture (a slightly different pose, and much larger) at my Mom and Dad's house.  She asked if "Mommy married Luke Skywalker."  Makes Tom and I crack up everytime we think of it!


(Lots of) Words on Wednesday: Close to BINGO

This Book BINGO thing is kinda fun!


I usually have at least one hundred books on my "to read" list, and I'm pretty random about how I choose what to read next.  Printing out my card and playing along on Book BINGO has really helped me focus my summer reading!  

As you can see by the photo above, I'm close to BINGO several different ways, and will soon close in on my first BINGO.

What have I read so far?

  • Set in Another Country -- That would be Burial Rites, a rather haunting novel set in Iceland.
  • Published in 2014 - The Possibilities.  Yeah, I chose this one based on the title.  (Because POSSIBILITY.)  But I found it terribly tedious and predictable.  (Plus . . . a mom grieving the death of her happy-go-lucky, risk-taking, 22-year-old son.  Just a bit too close to home for me to be completely comfortable.)
  • Re-read Something - Winter's Tale.  And I discovered I still love this book, 31 years after reading it for the first time!  Not my all-time-favorite, but still right up there!  (This one could've also counted as a "Longer Than 500 Pages" square, but I'm not likely to re-read anything else this summer.  So there you have it.)
  • Currently On the Bestseller List - All the Light We Cannot See.  Pretty much totally worth the hype.  (This is a very good book.)
  • A Book That "Everyone" But You Has Read - Eleanor and Park.  Quite a charming story, even though I'm not a fan of YA fiction.
  • By An Author of  A Different Gender - I read Lost for Words, written by a man.  (I love satire.)
  • Thriller/Suspense - I just finished Doctor Sleep.  (True Confession:  I love Stephen King.  I usually treat myself to one Stephen King a year; usually in the summer.  This year it was Doctor Sleep -- the very good, very compelling, and very satisfying sequel to The Shining.)

I'm hot on the BINGO-trail with books-in-progress (or soon-to-be-started):

And it shouldn't be hard for me to fill in these squares:

  • An Audiobook
  • Borrowed from the Library
  • Longer than 500 Pages
  • By Any Booktopia Author (Not hard . . . because this list is a Cast of Thousands)

I'm pretty sure, though, that I won't be filling in the square calling for a book That You Think You Will Dislike (because that just sounds wasteful -- when there are so many books that I think I will LIKE) or By An Author Who Shares Your First Name.  I've looked.  There are actually a couple of books written by a Kym (with a Y) Douglas -- but she writes books about beauty tips from the stars.  And, really, life is too short.  So. . . NO.  I'll just PASS on that particular square.   (In fact, I've discovered that there are certain "author names" that turn up all the time: Anne, Catherine/Katherine/Kate, Christine, Elizabeth, Jane, Margaret/Maggie, Sara/Sarah, Sophie, and even Zoe.  Kim/Kym is NOT on that list.)

How about you?  Playing Book BINGO?  Read any good books this summer?

Just a Piece of Furniture


When I opened up my email and read this week's Ten on Tuesday topic, I was sort of stymied:  Ten Things About Your [insert piece of furniture here].


Should I talk about my new(ish) reclining family room couch?

Or my "telescoping" coffee table?

How about my purple leather chair?

Or maybe the old-as-dirt blue recliner that lives in my library?


Let's talk about the couch at our cottage up north instead!

Brian and JoJo . . . sharing the couch earlier this summer.

Ten Things About Our Couch at the Cottage:

  1. It is, quite simply, the Ugliest Couch on the Planet.
  2. It also wins awards for being the Most Uncomfortable Couch on the Planet.
  3. And yet.  And yet.  Everyone fights about being ON it (dogs included).
  4. In about 1994, we bought the couch from our friends, Joanie and Bill, who were moving to Marietta, Georgia.  It had been in their basement family room.  (I remember Joanie warning me that it wasn't very comfortable.)
  5. We also bought their snow blower.  (Which we only parted with this spring.)
  6. Joanie and I share an odd Cosmic Symmetry.  We were pregnant at the same time.  I had my baby (Erin) on Joanie's birthday.  She had her baby (Christopher) on my birthday.   (Weird, huh?)
  7. The couch is also a hide-a-bed.  Which is a very convenient piece of furniture to have at a cottage.
  8. Too-Many-People-To-Count have slept on this hide-a-bed couch.  No one has ever complained.  (Tom thinks that might be due to free-flowing alcohol.)
  9. Having moved it twice, Tom declares it "heavier-than-shit" and vows to never move it again.  It will either live forever at the cottage, or we will burn it in the fire pit.
  10. It repels dirt, stains, ticks, and mice like nobody's business!

How about YOU?  What's your favorite (or maybe most interesting) piece of furniture?


Join the fun!  Sign up for weekly Ten on Tuesday prompts here, or read other lists here.


Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme

I have a tiny little herb garden, right outside my back door, on the side of my patio.


It's full of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.


And some other things, too.


I love being able to go out and just pick what I need for dinner.  A handful of basil.  Fresh parsley.  Chives for my salad.  Tarragon for the fish.   It's one of my favorite things about the summer season . . . my herb garden.


If I could only grow one type of herb, it would probably be thyme.  I use it all the . . . time.   (ha ha)  I also use a lot of parsley, dill, and basil.  Sometimes I even grow things that I can't quite remember the name of . . . but I like the look of.  

And I always grow a little patch of nasturtiums.


My little herb garden usually also features evidence of . . . Dog.  Footprints.  Crushed leaves.  Broken stems.  And, well . . . 


doesn't every herb garden grow tennis balls?


Water Dogs: Take 2

Okay.  I just lost my post.

(Boy, that's frustrating.)

It was a fun one, too -- with lots of photos.  About the dogs being up at the lake.  And how, of all their "up north" activities, they like being in the water best of all.


But I don't have time to recreate the post tonight.  So you'll just have to imagine it all for yourself!



Lift My Days, Light Up My Nights

Soundtrack . . .


I'm not really big on mystery.

I like knowing the ending -- and (you might recall) -- I'm quite okay with knowing how things work out ahead of time.

I used to see other people knitting mystery socks and mystery shawls, and I just knew the whole mystery Thing wasn't for me.

Because I like to see what I'm knitting first.  I like to know how my colors will work.  I like to know if I'm choosing the right type of yarn.  I like to know what it's going to look like in the end!

I decided long ago . . . that I would never knit a mystery ANYthing.


There are always exceptions!

I signed on to knit this year's Through the Loops Mystery Shawl.  And . . . you know what?

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright!


One day you will look...back
And you'll see...where
You were
By this love...while
You could stand...there
You could move on this moment
Follow this feeling


Spirit moves in mysterious ways!


Lift my days, light up my nights!

(This mystery was a good experience for me -- but I definitely prefer knowing what I'm getting in for when I start a project!  And I'm not sure I'll sign on for another Mystery Knit anytime soon.  But.  You never know. . . she moves in mysterious ways!!!)

(Ravelry details here.)

Not-Quite-Ten on a Tuesday*


Today, we're talking Summer Sides.  You know.  Those tasty dishes served up alongside your burgers and your brats.  I've certainly got my favorites.

But I'm rather predictable and altogether set in my ways (tastes!).  I tend to stick with what I like and not mix it up all that much when it comes to Summer Sides.


Here are my Not-Quite-Ten Favorites:

  1. My Mom's Potato Salad.  I can't imagine a family cook-out without it!  There is no recipe, though, and mine never turns out quite the same as hers (even though I have watched her make it many times over the years).  So . . . I only have it when my Mom makes it!
  2. Ina's Potato Salad.  Because I can't replicate my Mom's potato salad, I turned to Ina several years ago (from this cookbook).  Now, if I can't have my Mom's, I make Ina's!  (It's pretty fabulous, too.)
  3. Fresh Corn-on-the-Cob.  My love of fresh, just-picked corn runs deep in my genes (I represent the first generation of my Dad's family to not be raised on a Northern Illinois farm).  There is nothing quite like perfectly cooked corn-on-the-cob . . . with hot butter and plenty of salt.
  4. Roasted potato wedges.  (I like Yukon Golds best -- with olive oil, salt, lots of pepper, and some thyme.)
  5. Fresh veggies.  Especially cauliflower, bell peppers, and carrots . . . with any kind of dip.  (And I'm especially partial to any dip with dill.)
  6. Salad.  Pretty much any kind.  With pretty much any kind of dressing.
  7. Fresh pineapple slices. With some fresh, chopped mint mixed in!  (It sounds kind of weird . . . but tastes divine.  Really refreshing.)

And.  There you have it.  My Not-Quite-Ten!  

What are YOUR favorite summer sides?


Join the fun!  Sign up for weekly Ten on Tuesday prompts here, or read other lists here.


*  Because my brain is still not quite in gear.