Friday RoundUp

Friday Round Up: Weekend Edition

I'll just start off today's post with this little guy I found in my garden today. . .


He's working so hard, despite the season!

Me, too.  Working hard, that is.  I'm adjusting pretty well to working full time.  It helps that I enjoy my job and like the people I work with.  I'm still finding time to do most of the things I like to do . . . knitting, reading, cooking, walking Jenny, blogging.  I'm having a hard time, though, finding a way to fit my workouts into my life!  I used to swim a couple of times a week, take a dance class, and do pilates -- all in the mornings.  I tried to swim earlier in the morning.  Ugh.  It's just so hard to drag yourself to a pool. . . with all of your gear and clothes. . . at 6:00 am.  I'm having a problem getting motivated for that!  And I tried the treadmill and eliptical routines.  Ugh.  I'm having a problem with the boredom factor, even WITH my iPod.  I'm going to try Zumba next week -- it meets in the evenings.  It might be a good substitute for my dance class.  I'll figure this out, eventually!  (Just going to have to cut down on the Ben & Jerry's in the meantime. . .)

I'm also re-thinking the way I blog.  I usually try to . . . say something. . . each day of the work week.  I think I'm just going to go into a more free-flowing routine.  Maybe my Friday Round Ups will become. . . Weekend Round Ups.  Maybe Ten on Tuesday will be . . . Ten on SOME Tuesdays.  I'm not so sure what will happen.  But I don't want to give up the blog.  (I also don't want to be trapped by the blog!)

I just finished reading Nicole Krauss' new book, Great House.


Oh, man.  It's another five-star book!  I adored her last book, History of Love.  This one is just as good -- although I don't think it's quite as moving.  While I had to stop reading - frequently - just to gasp, or think, or re-read - I didn't cry (or even feel like it).  The book is about loss, and loneliness, memories and family connections, dealing with being . . . left.  (In hindsight, it may not have been a good choice for me to read just now -- when Erin has decided to move even farther away after she graduates in May; when I've had enough time away from him to discover I actually DO miss having Brian around; when Tom is away in Mumbai.  Just sayin'.)  Anyway.  It's an excellent book. 

I've been doing some knitting. . .


It's Bonne Marie Burns' Mondo Cable Vest.  I'm making it in honor of my fav Project Runway designer, Mondo!  (That's really not true; it's been in my queue for a long time.  But I am in the Mondo-corner for this week's PR season finale!)  The knitting is easy and quite relaxing.

I'm ready to be inspired. . .


My favorite issue of the year arrived in my mailbox yesterday.  I plan to sit down with a cup of tea and. . .well, drool. . . later this afternoon.

And check this out. . .


Last week when I was dropping Brian back on campus (after his fall break), I stopped in at one of my favorite Holland downtown shops, The Bridge.  This is such a cool store -- it's a 100% Fair Trade shop, featuring jewelry, scarves, baskets, art objects, and unique handmade gifts from over 35 developing countries.  I love the interesting things they carry.  I visit often -- and this time, I came home with this wonderful necklace and earrings.  Fun!  (If you're ever in Holland, be sure to drop in!)

Have a great weekend!

Friday Round Up: Gorgeous Edition

It's Friday, and I'm surrounded by gorgeous!


It's fall.  But warm.  And everything is bathed in a golden light!


My roses are truly going to town!


They are exploding with blooms.  It's such a delight at this time of year. . .


to see so many blooms!

And the leaves are starting to do some really interesting things.


Even my knitting is gorgeous right now.  A big fluff pile of kid silk haze.


My next step on this project is . . . grafting the two ends (80 stitches each side).  Mohair.  Grafting.  Not something I'm really looking forward to.  But gorgeous all the same!

And look at this gorgeous pup!


Ready for a walk . . . or a romp in the yard.


The only thing that's not so gorgeous right now . . . is this.


Yes, this, my friends, is a rare sight in my house.  An empty wine rack!  Not to worry, though.  My gorgeous husband will see that it's filled tonight!

Enjoy a gorgeous weekend!

Friday Round Up: Catch-as-Catch-Can Edition

Well.  It's been a busy week.  Time for a Friday Round Up. . . catch-as-catch can!


My garden is winding down for the season.  I think it's lovely at this time of year -- although quite hit-and-miss.  My roses are blooming their little hearts out right now.  I think they know it's their last blast!


We may even get a frost this weekend.  Kind of early. . . but, then, the weather has been a bit crazy all season!


I really love the structure . . .


of a garden winding down . . .


for the season!


I haven't done a "purchase of the week" post in a long time.  But, clearly, I've been busy "purchasing."  I got this in the mail this week. . .


Oh, brother!  I've got "gold member status" at Eddie Bauer.  What does that mean, exactly?  Well.  It means I've spent way too much time and money shopping there.  (It's not a credit card; just a frequent buyer card.)  This makes me feel a little silly, actually.  And sort of . . . creeped out. . . by the fact that they track my shopping.  (I'm not naive . . . I just would prefer to live in the illusion that my life is my own!)


I know that patterned rubber boots are popular these days . . . but I had No Idea what an absolute RAGE they are on the college fashion scene until last weekend at The Pull.  There were so many (so VERY many) girls running around in boots . . .


that even Tom (who is, trust me, typically blind to fashion!) noticed!  They were EVERYwhere!


And speaking of fashion . . . how about that Mondo?


Way to work a color combo . . . not to mention stepping away from your own edge!



Tomorrow - October 2 - is Livestrong Day.


Check the Livestrong website for information, resources, and support.  If you - or someone you know - is dealing with cancer, be sure to check out the Livestrong Guidebook.  You can order this great tool for FREE.  The guidebook (two volumes) provides solid, pertinent information designed to help cancer patients and their families navigate the health care system and understand what's going on at every phase of the journey -- from diagnosis to survivorship.  Also included -- organizational tools and journaling guides.  Live. Strong.


In knitting news. . . well, there really isn't any.  I've been knitting on a secret project -- a Christmas gift for someone who reads this blog regularly, so. . . Do Not Open 'til Christmas. . . totally applies!

But. . . you might be interested in learning that . . . Twist Collective patterns are NOT test knit . . . and tend to be fraught with errata.  Hmmmmmm.  I'm feeling a rant coming on.  But not today.  Because . . .

it's the weekend!  Have a good one!

Friday Round Up: Hurried Edition

Where does the time go?  Friday afternoon already.  How can that be? 

Lots going on . . .

Brian is involved in The Pull this weekend at Hope College.


Saturday is Light the Night (it's not too late to make a donation if you're so inclined!).


Next week is Banned Books Week.


The new season of Dexter begins Sunday night.


And Jenny wants to play.


Looks like a busy weekend!  Have a good one. . .

Friday Round Up: Random Edition

It's time for a Friday Round Up!  It's been a busy week here.  I was away for two weekends in a row, so I had quite a backlog of chores to catch up on.  Of course, it didn't help that my dryer broke down . . . just as I was starting my assault on Mt. Laundry!  I was stuck with a load of wet towels from "up north" (meaning . . . really old, kind of threadbare, and prone to mildew).  I started my week waiting for a new timer for the dryer. . . and displaying my "up north" towel collection on my back fence.


Luckily, the repair was completed by Wednesday, and I was back in business.  (Of course, the laundry had multiplied right before my eyes in the meantime!)

To distract me from the ever-growing laundry pile, I decided to make some ice cream.  Chocolate!  Gosh, there are a lot of calories. . . and fat. . . in ice cream!


Making it yourself, it seems like there are even MORE calories . . . because you SEE the ingredients go into the bowl. . .


and you know what's in there. 


Remember Puck?  Brian's parrot?  Well. . .


he's sort of. . . worming his way into my heart.  We still aren't the best of friends, but we like each other a whole lot more now.  He's very, very happy living in my office.  He loves music -- and I always have music playing.  He sings and whistles to the music, and even does a little "dancing" now and then.  He has a lot more social interaction now that he's closer to the center of our home, and he's responding well.  Maybe this will work out better than I thought. . .


My herb garden is really flourishing!  Although I snip fresh herbs to use in cooking all the time, it's now Herb Harvest Time.  I picked these first thing this morning . . .


and will spend some time this evening freezing some. . . and drying others. . . for use during the winter.  Last week, Kim put together a fabulous post about preserving herbs.  Check it out! 

I also have begun my pepper harvest.  Besides the bell peppers, I'm growing jalapeno and cayenne peppers this year.


Actually, it looks like I'm going to have a bumper crop of the jalapenos and cayenne -- so I'm going to string them and dry them for use later.  I'm also planning to try to pickle some of the jalapenos!

With all these herbs around, I've been getting a lot of use out of this nifty little herb chopper.


Works like a charm!


As for what's blooming this week in my garden. . . we have PeeGee Hydrangea. . .


. . . grass "plumes". . .


. . . and brown-eyed Susan.


Have a wonderful weekend!


Just a little follow-up note.  Remember this project?


The lovely little cardigan with the totally messed up pattern?  Well, I just wanted to let you all know that the designer was very receptive to my notes and suggestions.  For the time being, she has pulled the pattern from distribution/sale and is working out the bugs.  The Ravelry page for this design now carries this note from the designer:

July 18, 2010: Guinevere is temporarily unavailable. I am working on making it a little clearer and to address some errata that has come to my attention. I hope it will be back up for sale in 2 weeks.

I'm so pleased that she is handling things this way.  I just wanted to pass it along. . .

Friday Round Up: Now With Improved Color!

"Seek the strongest color effect possible. . . the content is of no importance."  -- Henri Matisse

I'm a visual person. I'm always drawn to color.

In my landscape. . .


(Note the specially placed dandelion in the background!  Make a wish!)

On my toes. . .


(This is my summer "pedi-palette."  I'm currently sporting green toes!)

For a snack. . .


(What?  Doesn't everyone share juicy fruit with their pup?)

And when I make my "purchase of the week!"


Look at this colorful, clever little thing that I found at my local yarn store!  You know how, every once in a while, you just really wish you had a pair of scissors?  Well. . . now you can have a pair with you all the time!  Just slide off the puppy's head. . . and. . .



Fits right on your keychain.  $4.99!  (Although when looking for the link, I found you can get them for as little as $4.50!)



I have colorful blooms everywhere in my garden this week!  I can't limit myself to just one. . . so here are four "blooms of the week!"

Echinops (with bonus wasp!)




Oak-leaf Hydrangea (not so colorful. . . but I'm so happy it's blooming!)


Shasta Daisy (with bonus spiders!)


Enjoy the colors of summer, and have a wonderful long weekend.

Friday Roundup: Out and About Edition

It's been One of Those Days around here.  You know the ones. . . when it feels like all you do is go in and out of your driveway.   All day.

It started here. . .


. . . a place I've been visiting a little too often lately.  This time, it was Brian's car in for service.  Which meant . . . I needed to go here to drop him off for work.


While I was in the neighborhood, I picked up dog food for Jenny. . .


before meeting a friend for lunch.


Then, of course, I needed to retrace my steps. . . first, to pick Brian up from work, and then to pick up his car.  After all that, my next stop was. . .


to refuel . . . before treating myself to some plant shopping to end the day!


(Everything's on sale now, you know?)


It's good to be home.  I think I'm in for the night.


Bloom of the Week:




Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Round Up: Update Edition

My camera has been "missing" for almost 2 weeks now.  Actually, it's not missing. . . because I know just where it is.  It's at my Mom and Dad's house.  Right where I left it.  So, I've been getting by on the blog lately with my old point-and-shoot.


It's really not a bad little camera.  (But I like my other one better. . .)  I'm looking forward to springing my camera sometime this weekend!


Purchase-of-the-Week #1

I really like blue transferware.  I have a nice collection -- a good mix of collectible and just-fun pieces.  My eye always (always) zooms in on any transferware (or faux-transferware) wherever I may be.  Earlier this week I was in my neighborhood Walgreens when I spotted these:


Little blue faux-transferware pots!  $1.29 each.  Get out!  I picked up all they had.  (The strawberries are from my plants -- the only two I've saved from a hungry pack of piggy chipmunks who have set up permanent living quarters on my patio.)


Purchase-of-the-Week #2

I needed a new journal, and found this one at Barnes & Noble.  Cute, non?


But. . . then I spied this one. . . which is PERFECT for Erin.  Cuter yet, non?




I'm so excited!  If you look closely at this photo, you can see what's happening to my tomatoes this week!


Blooms AND fruit! (I wish I had my better camera. . .)


Off -- and On -- the Needles

I finished this sweater. . .


Photos and details next week.  (But I will say that this one was lightening fast!)

And I cast on for this sweater. . .


I'm hoping this one is fast, too.  (Because apparently I'm in the mood for summer sweaters in Easter egg colors.)

And -- just an update on this sweater. . .


I have forwarded all of my pattern notes and explanations to the designer, who is most receptive to review them and make appropriate changes.  She is gracious and responsive.  I just wanted you to know.


Have a great weekend. . . and here's another bloom.  Because I can't help myself.


Friday Round Up: Mixed Bag Edition

I don't know about you, but it seems like this has been a bit of a crazy week in BlogLand  Now, I can't really complain -- because my week has gone much, MUCH smoother than it has for some people I know.  And, while I might have had a broken air conditioner, at least I didn't have any snow.  And I haven't noticed any big, persistent woodland creatures in my birdseed (yet).  But.  I did spot some huge . . . HUGE. . . poison ivy in my neighbor's back yard. . . in an area way out behind their pool. . . where they never think to check.  It's nearing my fence.  I'm ready to do battle!

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Graduation plans are in full swing this week.  My mom visited on Wednesday, and we worked hard, putting Brian's scrapbook together.  It's still not quite finished. . . but almost!  

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I've also planned the menu for his graduation open house, and started gathering the supplies and equipment I need to pull this off!   Meanwhile, the newly-finished (former) high school student is enjoying just . . . hanging around.  Doing nothing!

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And. . . speaking of doing nothing. . . my bad knee acted up this week, relegating me to the couch with an ice pack (and maybe some wine. . . and some knitting. . . and an audio book. . .).  I broke down and got a cortisone injection yesterday, and things are improving.

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That quiet time did wonders for my current knitting project!  I am very close to finishing this little summer cardigan.  (Horribly written pattern, though.  Horrible.)

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And, in perhaps the biggest news of the week, I have purchased a new computer!  It's going to take me a while to shift everything over. . . but I'm really excited.  I have taken the plunge.  See?

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Now, before signing off for the Memorial Day weekend, take a look at what's happening in my garden.  Our summer-like weather has encouraged all kinds of blooms . . . and vegetable growth at a rate I can practically WATCH!

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Have a relaxingl Memorial Day weekend! 

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