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March 2015

Change in the Air

Sure.  There's still a long, long way to go. . . 


But . . . there is CHANGE in the air!

The dogs sense it.


Garden Buddha can feel it.


I can see some grass again.  (Okay.  I know it's because the plow scraped low.  But still.)


And the parade of March garden conferences has begun.


Best of all . . . THIS!


(Tom spent a lot of time on Saturday clearing the nearest storm drain and creating a "path" for water flow.)  (My Hero!!!)

Definitely a change in the air.  (And it sure feels good!)

Fickle March. . . Or . . . All Weather in a Day

Ah, March.

Fickle, fickle March.


Just yesterday, you brought all of the weather.*

First, there was a lot of snow.  (No photos.  I feel we've had enough.)

Then, freezing rain.


Next came plain old rain.


And then . . . the temperature dropped.


Turning . . . my yard, my driveway, the streets . . . into a skating rink.

March.  You are U.G.L.Y.


But . . . . . this looked good!


There is hope.**


*  Except warm and sunny.  You didn't bring that.

**  Even though we are back to sub-zero today.

Words in the Wild: Headline News

The other day, Tom was reading The Week magazine, when he pointed out this page . . . and its dream-come-true headlines:



Look again.

Rethinking fat and cholesterol

Meditation delays aging

Coffee may cut cancer risk

Drink wine, burn fat*

Smoking damages the brain


All on one page.

News doesn't get much better than that!

(Read all about it!)


* Personal Favorite

Girls Night Out


Today, Carole has asked us to invite ten literary characters to a dinner party.  Simple, right?  I had no trouble assembling my initial list . . . Sherlock Holmes, Owen Meany, Mr. Darcy, Scout, Nancy Drew, Jo March, Hermione, Gandalf. . .

But then, I got to thinking.

It's a dinner party.  What would they talk about?  How would this motley crew interact with each other.  And, just like when I'm planning a real-life dinner party, I started thinking group dynamics.  (I mean, just having Sherlock Holmes and Jo March at the same table would probably cause trouble, if you know what I mean.) 

So I shifted gears.

I decided to host a dinner party for literary-women-wronged-by-men.  I thought we'd have a lot to talk about.  We could drink some wine and have a nice, girls-night-out style bitch session!


My guest list:

  1. Scarlett O'Hara (Gone With the Wind)
  2. Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre)
  3. Ophelia (Hamlet)
  4. Lily Bart (House of Mirth)
  5. Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy)
  6. Anna Karenina (Anna Karenina)
  7. Miss Havisham (Great Expectations)
  8. Catherine Earnshaw (Wuthering Heights)
  9. Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones's Diary)
  10. Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby)

I think we'd have a great time!  Care to join us?  

What about YOU?  What literary characters would you include on your dinner party guest list?


Join the fun!  Sign up to recieve Ten on Tuesday prompts here - or read other lists here!

Oh, Canada!

At the holidays, I often write about my Swedish heritage.  That comes from my Dad's side of the family.

There's another side, of course. . .

My Mom is from Canada, and more specifically, from the Calgary area in Alberta.  She grew up in the small town of Innisfail, located in the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. (Such a beautiful place!)  My Mom grew up skating and curling and tobogganing.  One summer during her high school years, she met a visiting "Yank," and, ultimately, let him convince her to come to "the States" to marry him.*  


When my Mom and Dad (the "Yank") got married, one of her cousins (a couple of times "removed" . . . we think) knit them what I've always called their "Canada sweaters" as a wedding present.  They didn't wear them all that much as I was growing up (the sweaters were rather . . . distinct . . . for 1960s northern Illinois. . .), but I do remember my Mom wearing hers whenever we went ice skating.

The photos in this post are me . . . wearing my Mom's "Canada sweater."  Very traditional.  Very warm.  And hand knit by a cousin, distantly "removed."


This type of sweater is known by several names -- Canadian heritage sweater, curling sweater, Cowichan sweater.  The roots go back to the Cowichan tribe in British Columbia, although there is a specific design and color palette for true Cowichan sweaters.  Although you can find "Canada sweaters" with all kinds of motifs, the most common include eagles, fish, deer (like my Mom's), totem, or winter sports (curling, hockey).  Probably the most famous "Cowichan" sweater is the one worn by the Dude in The Big Lebowski (although that one, technically, was a Pendleton).  There are kits and patterns to make these sweaters today, and there is quite a market for vintage Cowichan sweaters (as a quick look at eBay will show).

As for me, I'm thrilled to have this piece of my Canadian heritage!


* And THAT is a story for another day!