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May 2018

Happiness Is . . .

Resting and recuperating at home.


Good news from the vet.


And having your bestie nearby again!


I thank you for all the good juju yesterday.  It helped!  Jenny did well with a very nasty surgery.  She got to come home last night, which no one really expected.  And so far (keep your fingers crossed) we are having an easy time with her recovery here at home.  (Her surgery comes with some potentially . . . messy . . . side effects.  So far, so good.)  

I think no one is happier to have Jenny home than JoJo!  She moped all day yesterday, and was just not quite herself.  She even slacked off with perimeter control, which she sees as her Most Important Role in our pack.  (Trust me, this is BIG.)

Happiness is . . . hanging around with your pack!

Hungry Dogs

As I write this blog post this morning, my dogs are looking at me with the mournful eyes.

For they are very hungry.

S-t-a-r-v-i-n-g, in fact.

And I am not feeding them.


Because this diva . . . 


is scheduled for some rather serious surgery in a couple of hours.  (Please send the good juju.  She is 11, and we'd like to keep her around a while longer.)

My hungry dogs remind me of this perfect Mary Oliver poem, from her Dog Songs book.

The Wicked Smile
by Mary Oliver

"Please, please, I think I haven't eaten
for days."

What?  Ricky, you had a huge supper.

"I did? My stomach doesn't remember.
Oh, I think I'm fading away.  Please
make me breakfast and I'll tell you 
something you don't know."

He ate rapidly.

Okay, I said  What were you going to
tell me?

He smiled the wicked smile.  "Before we
came over, Anne already gave me my breakfast,"
he said.

Be prepared.  A dog is adorable and noble.
A dog is true and loving friend.  A dog
is also a hedonist.

Flowers are Magical

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful.  They are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul."
                                                                                                    --- Luther Burbank


Now that SPRING has decided to show up around here (thank you!), I'm scrambling out in the garden.  There is so much to do out there . . . that sometimes I just spin around, not knowing where to begin.

But then I just begin.

Clipping and pulling and raking and digging.  (And sometimes shaking my head . . . as in where did that come from???)

After three big days in the garden . . . my nails are crap, my arms are totally scratched up, and my back is tired.

BUT.  I'm also better, happier, and more helpful!

Flowers are magical -- and gardens, indeed, are medicine for the soul.

Happy Feet

There are so many things I'm happy about this week. . . 

  • Finally seeing some leaves popping out on the trees.
  • Sunshine . . . alternating with some good, soaking rains.
  • Fresh air and open windows.
  • Bird joy!
  • Flowers.

But you know what makes me really happy?


New red shoes!

I hope you all have plenty of opportunity to kick up your heels . . . or put your feet up . . . or BOTH . . .  this weekend.


The Thing with Gardening

Here's the funny thing about gardening:  You wait and wait and wait and wait (and after this last winter - you wait some more!), just wishing and hoping and itching to get out in the garden.


Then. . . one day . . . the temperature suddenly spikes to the mid-70s (without so much as a ramp-up) and stays that way for a couple of days.  And then, just as suddenly, gardeners are woefully behind on All the Tasks.  Like . . . right now!

It always feels a little like garden-panic in the spring.  But it will work out.  (It always does.)

Here in my corner of Michigan, we're still way behind "normal" in terms of what's budding and blooming, but thanks to a couple of warm, sunny days this week, things are beginning to pop.   (Kalamazoo's average last frost date is May 21, so it's not like I'm trying to plant anything yet.)  (Our cottage up north?  The last average frost date there is June 11!)

So, amid great fanfare and a bit of garden-clean-up-exhaustion, here are 3 things blooming in my garden today:


1 - Hellebores.  (These have been blooming for a couple of weeks now.)


2 -- Grape hyacinth.


3 -- Dandelions!  (Never fear --- my position atop the Neighborhood Dandelion Leaderboard remains secure for yet another season!)  (My neighbors hate me.) (Although most people consider dandelions a scourge, I think of them as "first food" for the bees and pollinators.)

And, coming up with a bullet?  We've got . . . 




Virginia bluebells!

(And lilac, too.  Just no photos.)

The thing about gardening?  Flowers are magical, and spring is a wonderful thing!  (Even if everything feels a bit out of control at first.)


Be sure to head to Carole's to see more Three on Thursday posts.



Knitting continues (ever more slowly lately) (because gardening) on this beast. . . 


Although I had flirted with the idea of putting it down to start something a little more . . . summer-y, I've opted to slog on with the mitred squares.  (It's fun.  I'm in the groove.  And, mostly, I just tend to be a monogamous knitter.)

But I've reached that point in the project where I begin to contemplate my next knitting project.  (I usually spend at least half of my current project dreaming and scheming what I'll make next.)

I spent several days dreaming about this sweater, but decided to wait until fall is near.

Then, my thoughts shifted to warm-weather knitting, and I dreamed about this sweater and this sweater and even this one.

Finally, my scheming settled on this for my next project!  I even have the perfect yarn.  (Thinking about this one got me through two and a half tiers of the mitred square project without distraction, so committed I am.)

And then . . . 

Well.  Then, I did a little organizing down in my sewing room (where I keep my yarn), and I stumbled across this yarn I had completely forgotten about.


I picked this up at the Michigan Fiber Festival last August.  Three heavenly skeins -- two in the grey-ish/taupe-ish solid color, and one with those lovely shades of pink and coral mixed in.  I bought all she had!  No plan at all.  I just had to have it.  (You know how that goes. . . )

So now I'm just thinking about this yarn.  And what I might do with it.  Although it's fun to dream and scheme about possibilities, this one really has me stumped.  Maybe y'all can help?  Here are the specs on the yarn:

  • It's "heavy lace" weight (which feels a lot like "light fingering" to me).
  • Each skein has 350 yards (so that's 700 yards solid; 350 yards of the mix-y one).
  • The fiber content is really dreamy:  super fine alpaca, super fine merino, type C pygora, yak, cultivated silk, camel down, and angora bunny (let's just say super, super touchable and leave it at that).

(For about 6 hours, I thought it might be perfect for that Shakerag top in the new Mason Dixon Field Guide.)  (But then I got hold of myself and said ALL of those fibers . . . and not one of them linen . . . you are nuts!!!)

What do you think?  What should I do with this gorgeous yarn???  I'm open to suggestions . . . I have about 28 more mitred squares for more contemplation!


Stop by Kat's today for more Unraveled tales.


Moving Beyond the Obvious

So.  I have that deck of Sacred Invitations cards, y'know?*  Every now and then, I shuffle the deck and pull out a new card and stick it on my desk.  To think about and ponder and live with for awhile.  To see where it takes me.

Yesterday, I pulled this card.


And I laughed out loud.
Because I just randomly pulled the "grow" card from a deck of 48 cards?  Now?  


So initially, I thought . . . no brainer here, right? Because spring has arrived all of a sudden.  (As it does.)  And my garden is finally waking up.  GROW . . . it's just all around me.  I can see it.  Nothing to think about.  No need to ponder.


As the day wore on, though, I kept thinking about the card and the word.  What seems simple and obvious at first glance . . . is often deeper and more complicated.  If you consider.  And really look.  And open yourself just a little bit.

Maybe . . . there's more to this card than the obvious connection to spring and my garden and its coming to life again.


So I'm going to live with this word for a bit.  To see where it might lead me (besides the garden).  What can I explore?  How can I grow?  Where will I go?


Let's see. . . 


*(Click here if you don't know what I'm talking about with these cards.)