Here is my very-early-Spring-in-Michigan version of #blueskyblooms. . . 


Yep.  It's a taken-from-the-inside shot of an amaryllis -- but blooming against a blue sky outside the window!  That's about as good as it gets here in Michigan in late March.   But I'll take it.  Blue sky and sunshine FTW!  (Even though the wind is blowing cold and the temperature is only 35 F right now.) 

It's Friday; let's TGIF!

T - Thinking about . . . pulling the details together for a couple of trips in the next few months.  

G - Grateful for . . . no more snow piles in my yard!

I - Ignoring . . . that "soft" deadline I set for my taxes.  (Sunday.  Yeah.  Just not gonna happen.)

F - Feeling . . . super ambivalent about March Madness, but will probably watch a few games with Tom anyway.  (But how about those pink shoes on the University of Michigan team?  Fun, huh?)  (Here's the story behind the shoes.)

Happy Friday to all of you!
See you on Monday.


Don't forget to check out this month's Stash Giveaway.  Comment by 7:00 pm EST tonight (Friday) if you're interested!

Hello, February

So glad you're here!  

I'm happy to report that The Siege has finally ended.  It's 14ºF outside right now.  Which is nearly 35º warmer than it was yesterday at this time!  While 14ºF sounds pretty darn cold, trust me . . . it feels downright balmy compared to -19ºF. 



It's Friday.
It's not snowing.
And it's above 0.

Let's TGIF!

T - Thinking about . . . gardening.  Yeah.  I've still got a couple of feet of snow in my back yard, but it's February.  And that's when I allow myself to start thinking about next season's garden.  The nursery and seed catalogs will begin arriving any day now (now that the postal delivery service has resumed - yay).  The days are getting longer.  Spring is just around the corner.  (Sort of.  If you squint real hard.)

G - Grateful for . . . snow plows, furnaces, and wool.

I - Inspired by . . . Month of Letters -- which starts today.  (Let me know if you'd like to exchange letters or notes this month.)

F - Fun . . . Although not everyone enjoys severe winter weather, my dogs have been having a great time out in the snow.  (Well.  Not when the polar vortex was in full swing.  Those sub-zero temperatures are even too much for my snow-loving dogs.)


Here's to a good weekend, everyone.  Stay warm.  Or carry an umbrella.  (Basically, be ready for anything!)


Welcome, Friday!


Let's TGIF, shall we?

T - Thinking about . . . I'm still considering my plans and goals for 2019.  I usually stretch out my reviewing/planning process through the whole month of January.  Not only is it something I really enjoy doing (the reflecting back and the thinking ahead), but I think a broad time horizon gives me better perspective and really allows me to carefully consider what I feel like doing in the year ahead.  (Besides . . . January.  Not the most action-packed month of the year.)

G - Grateful for . . . Despite the fact that it is now crammed with January People, I am grateful for my gym.  It offers pretty much something for everyone, and lots of somethings for me.  I've made a lot of friends at the gym - which makes it a fun place to be, I've been challenged to try new (hard) things - which makes it good for my heart and soul, and I've always got plenty of workout options - which makes it easy to stay motivated.

I - Inspired by . . . I just started a new semester of art classes.  And this time . . . I decided to take TWO.  (This is an experiment; we'll have to see how this goes.)  I'm taking a drawing class AND a watercolor class.  Usually I just do one or the other, but this time, I couldn't resist.  (Now that I have a tidied-up art space, I'll have no excuses for not getting my homework finished, that's for sure!)

F - Fun . . . I have a movie date with Tom this afternoon!  It's almost Oscar-time, and there are lots of great movies to see right now.  (It's the best time of year at the movie theater.  Have you seen any good movies lately?)

Happy Friday, friends!  What's in store for you this weekend?


There's no snow on the ground here anymore, but there is plenty of The Dreary and The Frozen.


It's Friday.  Let's celebrate that with a little TGIF.

T - Thinking About . . . our Solstice party next Thursday.  Pretty much, it's All Solstice All The Time right now in my head.

G - Grateful . . . that Tom and I do a detailed "post-mortem" after each Solstice party -- complete with good notes.  We've been doing these parties for so many years now that we have A System.  (And my notes tell us things like how we set up the rooms, the number of beers and bottles of wine our guests consumed, where we placed the luminaries, and suggestions for the next party.  That kind of thing.)

I - Inspired by . . . all the things I can't wait to get back to once the Solstice party is in the books for another year.

F - Fun . . . I have a facial scheduled today!  (Not always "fun," exactly.  But definitely a treat!)

How about YOU?  How's your Friday shaping up?

Enjoy your weekend.



It's cold.  The leaves are falling.  
(But I'm still wearing my flip-flops.)  
(Strangers feel like it's okay to comment on my footwear choice these days.)  
(Like. . . it's none of your business, dude.)


Anyway . . . it's Friday.  So, let's TGIF.

T - Thinking about . . . what to knit next.  I finished my Tegna sweater well over a week ago now, and I haven't cast on for anything yet.  I have several ideas in mind (like this or this or this) (or, now, this), but I'm also considering knitting a few Christmas gifts this year.  Decisions, decisions.

G - Grateful for . . . our plans for a quiet weekend at home.  It's been busy lately, and I'm ready for a no-commitments kind of weekend.

I - Inspired by . . . my copy of the new book Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh.  It's a beautiful book full of all kinds of lovely images (who could imagine that mending could be so incredibly lovely?) and handy mending techniques that look so very cool.  It makes me want to go rip up my jeans, just so I can mend them.

F - Fun . . . I love walking in my neighborhood in the fall.  I love watching the leaves change -- but I especially appreciate some of the very clever - and very fun - ways my neighbors decorate for the season.  JoJo and I were quite surprised to see this near the sidewalk earlier this week.  Definitely fun!


So . . . what's your TGIF situation today?


Friday . . . so glad to see you!


Let's TGIF!

T - Thinking about . . . planners!  I've been researching and asking and watching YouTube videos and trying to figure out which planner would be perfect for me. (Did you know that there are hundreds of YouTube videos documenting how people set up and use their planners?) (I was floored by this.)  (People are zealots about their planners, let me tell you!)  I think I've made my decision.  Planning to order today!

G -  Grateful for . . . a break in the weather.  After days and days of sticky, hot, muggy weather, a cool front finally moved in.  And it looks like it may last a few days.  I'm eager to get outside -- and I'm especially happy to have my windows open again to gentle breezes.

I - Inspired by . . . a personal training session at the gym earlier this week.  Although I work out regularly, I've never worked with a trainer before.  In an attempt to mix things up a bit, I purchased a series of sessions with a trainer at my gym.  I'm inspired to try some new things -- with the confidence that comes from knowing I'm doing them correctly.

F - Fun!  The fall semester of my colored pencil drawing class started up again yesterday.  I love the class - and the structure it provides for me to work on/finish my drawings.  I like learning new things and having the opportunity to experiment a bit.  Plus . . . I really like the people in my class.  Many of us have been working together for years now, so there's friendship and support and laughter and encouragement.  Great fun - every Thursday afternoon.  (And sometimes a beer afterward.  BONUS.)

Here's to a great Friday - to start off a great weekend - for all of you!

See you Monday.



Glorious-ness, Pure and Simple



(Y'know . . . it doesn't get much better than that . . . on a Friday morning in August.)

It's Friday.  Let's TGIF!

T - Thinking about . . . how wonderful and laid-back this summer has been.  In fact, I would guess that I haven't had such a low-key and open summer since I was a kid.  I've also been thinking about how September will bring changes (because Structure Returns), and that's okay, too.  (But I'm going to hold on to this glorious-summer-feeling as long as I can.)

G - Grateful for . . . quiet mornings and a gentle start to my day.  One of my goals for the year was to start my mornings earlier so I could build in time for meditation and reflection and stretching.  It was really hard at first (because deep inside of me, there is a lazy bum), but I've gotten into the habit now, and I am so glad.

I - Inspired by . . . the light.  Although I am in deep denial about summer coming to an end, I love the long shadows of late summer.  So much drama!  And gorgeousness!

F - Fun . . . Today is the day Tom's new fishing boat is (supposed) to be delivered.  (Please keep your fingers crossed, because things happen when they happen up north, and this is sometimes Not Easy to Deal With.)  This little boat has been a long time coming (don't even get me started on "decision fatigue" that sometimes lasts for years. . . ), and it's going to be perfect and fun and glorious.  (And it's even red, so how fun is that???)

I hope your Friday is filled with good things . . . and your weekend, too.
See you Monday! 


Well, friends.  We've reached the end of another week.

Let's TGIF.


T - Thinking About . . . gauge swatching.  And how tricky it is to get the right gauge with linen.  (Tricky?  Let's change that to . . . frustrating.)  Which means I'm thinking a lot about knitting, but not actually doing any of it right now.

G - Grateful For . . . a weekend forecast of rain.  Because my garden could really use it.  And I could use a break from my constant battle agains the weeds.  (Although, of course, the rain will just bring aid to my enemies.)  

I - Inspired By . . . how good it feels to be less "plugged in."  First, I turned off all my notifications.  Then, I got rid of Facebook.  (Like . . . entirely.)  Next up?  I got rid of Pinterest.  (Just off my phone . . . but still.)  I've cleared huge swaths of time to go up north with Tom every other week.  I haven't committed to anything -- not Book Bingo, not mystery knits.  (Nothing.)  This is my JOMO (joy-of-missing-out) summer, and I've got to say . . . it's been liberating - and inspiring.

F - Fun . . . tomorrow I have an all-day colored pencil workshop.  (I. Can't. Wait.)

TGIF, everyone! 
Enjoy the weekend!


Although yesterday felt like Monday, today is actually Friday.  And that means . . . 



T - Thinking About . . . drawing.  I don't take art classes during the summer (too much garden and up north), so I don't have the structure a regular schedule provides.  I'm starting to miss it (although I do have a one-day workshop coming up later this month), and I have Ideas.  Now, I just need to get my pencils out.

G - Grateful For . . . waking up to a surprising change in the weather.  After weeks of super-hot-and-super-humid, it's . . . sunny and pleasantly cool this morning.  I wasn't expecting this (nor was the weather app on my phone).  We actually turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows this morning.  I'm grateful for fresh air, bird song, and the sound of sprinklers -- and especially for this little reprieve from the oppressive heat.

I - Inspired By . . . almost everything.  I seem to be wide open when it comes to inspiration these days.  Maybe it's the summer, with its explosion of color and texture and sound and smells.  Or maybe it's just that I've cleared enough space in my head so I can BE inspired.

F - Fun . . .packages for my kids.  I explained a couple of weeks ago that I've been sending my far-away (and very grown up) kids "care packages" every month.  Some months I send them useful items, sometimes seasonal items, sometimes hand knits, sometimes treats.  This month?  I've put together summer fun boxes -- with squirt guns and bubble guns and and flying parachute men.  (The only thing missing is popsicles. . . )  Kids nearing 30?  No problem.  I know they'll have fun with this stuff!

Enjoy your Friday -- and have a great weekend!

TGIF, Garden-Style

Back home.  Back in my garden.  And it's Friday.


Time for a little TGIF . . . garden-style!

T - Thinking About silver linings.

First, it was super annoying to have my air conditioning break down.  Then, I had to dig up large swaths of my garden to facilitate installation.  But, now that it's done, I'm actually . . . 

G - Grateful.

Not only for new (and functional) air conditioning (because YAY), but also for this "clean slate," which allows me to re-fresh yet another garden bed!


Now I'm totally . . . 

I - Inspired.

Because I have this collection of plants to play with all over again.  (My poor, displaced plants).


It's like re-opening an almost-new box of paints.  And, really, won't that be . . . 

F - FUN!


Have a great weekend!  (You'll know where to find me.)