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June 2017

Right Now - June 2017

Oh, June.  You've really lived up to expectations.


There have been trips up north, bike rides, ice cream, a successful Solstice party, gardening, and mini-celebrations along the way.  And, from the looks of it, there are more good summer-y things yet to come.

Here's what's happening . . . Right Now.

Watching:  Well.  Let's just say nothing on the screen.  I don't watch much television anyway, but during the summer I hardly ever turn it on.  Oh.  Except Grantchester; I am keeping up with that one.  (Because James Norton.  Who can resist?)  Mostly, right now, I'm watching things grow in my garden -- blooms, weeds, nuisance plants from my neighbors' gardens, that kind of thing.

Stitching:  Well.  Not much on that front either.  As I explained in Wednesday's post, I have cast on for the Through the Loops Mystery Shawl.  And that's pretty much where I am still.  By the time I sit down at the end of the day, I don't have the energy or attention span to manage even a simple lace pattern.  I'm going to be way behind with this year's mystery knit.  (And I'm fine with that.)  I'm thinking about starting something more . . . basic . . . to knit in the evening when I can't focus on lace, but do want to knit.  (Stay tuned.)


Reading:  I AM reading.  As you can see, my Summer Bingo reading is kind of all over the place.  I'm not seeing any BINGOs coming up soon, but eventually I'll get one.  Right now, I'm listening to Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (I'm not sure which square it will fit into quite yet, but I'm sure it will fit in somewhere. . . ), and I'm reading The Gifts of Imperfection, an older one from Brené Brown (which will fit nicely into the "backlist" square).  (As I earn BINGOs, I'll tell which books I read to fit in each square.)

Humming:  This one.  I went to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert last Sunday, and I've been singing this one ever since!   (Can't stop, addicted to the shindig . . . )  Tom had to miss the concert because of a scheduling error (his, not mine).  Don't feel too badly for him, though.  Because he was in Key West catching this . . . 


That's a trophy permit.  (He was thrilled.)


Gardening:  I'm really enjoying my time in the garden this year -- and I am spending a LOT of time out there.  I have . . . well, kind of overdone . . .my garden; I think I've reached my limit.  My dream was always to completely ring the perimeter of our fenced-in, L-shaped back yard with garden beds.  And I have achieved this feat (I'll blog about it sometime later this summer).  But.  It's an awfully lot of garden to keep up with, y'know?  So it's a constant game of whack-a-mole.  Some parts look great, while others need a bit more attention.  I am accepting that this is a constant, flowing Truth.  I do have fun puttering around out there, and now that bulk of the work has been done for the season, I can spend a bit more time just enjoying things from time to time (if I can keep myself from popping up to weed something or trim back something else).


Playing:  I finally caved and bought an Apple Watch last week.  I was hoping it would help me track my workouts -- including my swim workouts.  And it does.  Kind of.  I mean, it's waterproof and all -- and it does seem to accurately track my swimming.  But it does not track kick-sets at all (that's kicking without any arm movement; kind of a staple of swim workouts) . . . which is unfortunate.  (Especially because it doesn't allow for manual adjustments either.)  So.  It's cool.  And I like it.  And it does track most stuff.  Just not all the stuff.  

Dreading:  Neighborhood fireworks.  When I was younger, I used to love the Fourth of July.  And I really do like watching fireworks.  But . . . the joy has gone out of it for me now that fireworks have become legal in Michigan -- even in residential neighborhoods.  Oh, yikes.  It's misery!  And especially for the dogs.  We wrap JoJo in her ThunderShirt and administer the "relaxing drugs" from the vet . . . but we still have to hunker down in our basement "bunker" for several nights.  (It's even worse up north at our cottage.)  So.  I'm dreading the next few nights -- and eager for that part of the weekend to be over.


Looking Forward:  We've got a nice vacation coming up in July -- a week on Beaver Island up in the middle of the northern part of Lake Michigan.  It probably won't be terribly warm -- but it's going to be gorgeous and relaxing and fun.  The dogs are looking forward to it, too -- because they get to come with us for this trip!  (Keep your fingers crossed that JoJo - of the carsickness - can manage the ferry ride.) 

That's what's happening in my corner of the world right now.  How about YOU? 





The Little Things

It's a beautiful day here.  Rainy earlier; sunny now.  Not too hot.  And my schedule cleared up rather unexpectedly.  Sounds like a perfect day to mess around outside, non?

I often share what's blooming in my garden.  For a change, I decided to share a few of my favorite things that never bloom in my garden!  Little things.  Things that you might miss when you're busy looking at blooms.

Things like . . . Namaste Frog.


This little guy has been sitting near the waterfall in my pond for many years.  (So many years . . . that Brian, who still lived at home then, gave him his name.)  He's a little worse for the wear now (the frog, not Brian), because one year he spent the winter at the bottom of the pond -- having fallen in during the shut-down phase and not discovered again until the following spring.  Still, he just sits . . . a bit faded but very chill . . . and a great reminder for me to live in the moment out in the garden.

This year I added a little Fishing Frog.


I especially love how there is a silhouette of a "real" fish there on the sign.  Because Fishing Frog?  He may be whimsical and totally animated, but he's going for the Real Deal.

I tuck lots of little birds here and there in my garden.


There are plenty of actual, singing birds in my garden, sure.  But I like having a little bit of bird-whimsy around, too.


I stick some things in my garden just because they make me smile.


I love picking out the "hair" for this planter every year.

And I love the stone chimney on my little house.  (I keep this one near the edge of the patio, right near the house, where it is less likely to get wet in a rainstorm.)


And then, there's always THIS "little" thing in my garden.  She never blooms -- but always makes me smile!


Enjoy your day -- and take time to find the little things that bring you joy.


Slowing Down and Catching Up

My unraveling tale this week comes not from yarn and needles . . . but from pure stupidity.

My own.

Too lazy to change my shoes (and - truth be told - not wanting to put on socks), I decided to walk the dogs yesterday in my trusty Keen sandals.  Now this style of sandal has gotten me through many a long walk (and walking vacations) in the past.  But yesterday?  Not so much.  

I could feel the blister forming on the ball of my foot just at the 1-mile turnaround-point of our walk.  By the time I got back home, it was a doozy.

Talk about unraveled!  (And I get really cranky about injuries that prevent me from moving freely.)


Well, perhaps I'll have more time to just sit for a couple of days while it heals.  Because I've just started this summer's Through the Loops Mystery Shawl, and I have some catching up to do.


There are so many ways to . . . unravel.  Y'know?


Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled Wednesday.  Head on over to find out what else is unraveling!


Plain Vanilla

For a couple of years now, I have wanted to make an Alabama Chanin dress.  Because what hooked me on Alabama Chanin in the first place . . . many years ago . . . was a dress.

Seriously.  That first Alabama Chanin dress was kind of life-changing for me.  I'd never seen anything like it!  It was hand-stitched and stenciled and had some beads.  Threads were knotted on the outside!  It was artsy and craftsy -- but altogether wearable.

I was smitten.

So, after tackling a couple of smaller Alabama Chanin projects (a shawl, a simple t-shirt, a more complicated wrap skirt), I decided I was ready to try a dress.

Pattern and fabric in hand, all that was left . . . was deciding what to do with it.  (Because SO MANY options with Alabama Chanin.  The sky is the limit.)

Single layer or double?

For months, I just mulled over options.  Constantly.  I would decide to do things one way . . . and the next day, decide something different.  I read.  I browsed.  I drew.  I bought a stencil.  And an assortment of beads.  I Pinterested the HECK out of it.  I made myself crazy.


In the end.

I went with Plain. Vanilla.


That's the Alabama Chanin Factory Dress in one layer.  Totally hand stitched.  No embellishment whatsoever.


I love it!  It fits well.  It's super comfortable and easy to wear.

I'm already mulling over my options for another one.


The options are head-spinning!

More Daily Haiku

I'm still having fun with my daily haiku thing.  It's a challenge, sure . . . but it's a great way to think about the day and what's happening around me.  And I'm especially enjoying pairing my daily haiku with a daily photo.  Here are a few of my recent favorites.

June 13


Lily pads rising
Reaching up to the surface
Dragonflies cheer

June 14


Out in the distance
Lightning flash, thunder rumbles
Heading home

June 20

IMG_7313 2

Coffee, time to think
Day unfolding, emerging
Ready to begin

June 21


Lingering daylight
Warm summer night, you and me
Sipping wine outside


Have a great weekend.  
(I hope it's full of poetry.)

My Uniform

I have a uniform I wear pretty much every day (or . . . as often as I can get away with it).  

In the cold months, it revolves around yoga pants; in the warm months, shorts.  In other words, my uniform is all about comfort and ease.  (With some snazzy earrings thrown in for pizazz.) 

Here's my summer uniform.



1 -- Rather loose and comfy linen shorts.  Good for gardening, walking the dogs, and just sitting around.  Perfectly serviceable for a quick trip to the grocery store or meeting up with a friend.  (Best of all?  Nearly any t-shirt will match.)

2 -- Flip flops.  Because if I have to wear shoes, flip flops are my go-to.

3 -- My red peace sign earrings.  I picked these up at an art fair just days after the election last November, and I have worn them most every day since.  I like 'em -- and they just give me some . . . well . . . peace.

Simple.  Comfortable.  Easy.

(You can see that I'm also wearing a new scrape on my knee from my latest biking mishap.  Actually, I'm always wearing a scrape or scratch or bruise of some sort from something in the garden or my bike or just tripping over things in the garage.  Livin' on the edge. . . that's me!)

How about you?  What do you wear for comfort and ease?


Today's post is part of Think Write Thursday.  To see more posts, click here -- and to sign up to receive the weekly prompts, click here.




After finishing my Colorwash Scarf, I've got nothin' on the needles!  (Yet.)

But I am finishing up my Alabama Chanin Factory Dress.  (Which I hope to wear to our Solstice Party on Friday night; it fits like a dream -- and I'm already plotting to make another!)


I'm reading Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski.  (Yeah.  I have that "Non-fiction about science" square in Summer Book Bingo.)  It's interesting, but I'm going to have to pick up the pace -- because it's due back at the library next Tuesday.

How about you?  What are you stitching and reading?


Today's post is part of Kat's Unraveled -- a weekly update of what we're stitching (or not) and reading.  To read more Unraveled posts, click here.

You Really Know How to Dance

(Set the tone . . . click here for today's soundtrack.)

Hey!  Uh huh huh!
Hey!  Uh huh huh!

What I like about you, you hold me tight. . .


Tell me I'm the only one, wanna come over tonight


Keep whispering in my ear,
Tell me all the things that I wanna hear, cuz that's true
It's what I like about you!

So.  Yeah.  I finished something -- and I really liked knitting it.  It was the perfect mix for me . . . great design, fun yarn, stripes, and an oh-so-easy rhythmic pattern.

That's what I like about you!

(Ravelry details here.)