Not much time to blog right now. . . my sister arrived yesterday!


(I dragged her out for an early morning walk on the Kal-Haven Trail to see the trillium blooming.)  (She's a very good sport.)

Here's a quick TGIF:

T - Thinking about . . . spending the next several days catching up and hanging out with my sister.

G - Grateful for . . . family time.

I - Inspired by . . . laughter and good conversation.

F - Fun times . . .  we're heading to Chicago for a few days (and super excited to see Hamilton while we're there).

I'll be taking a bit of a blog-vacation next week.
Catch you on the flip side.


It's Friday.  Spring is finally springing.  And I have a busy day today.  Time for some TGIF.


T - Thinking about . . . my garden, of course.  Now that it seems to be Actual Spring (instead of Calendar Spring), it's time to get out there and get busy.  I can't wait.

G - Grateful for . . . those two little early tulips in my photo above.  They are "volunteers" that hitched a ride to my garden with a hosta transplant from my mom's garden many years ago.  (You may remember that my mom loved tulips, and had a garden full of them.  These are some of an early variety she planted.  They bloomed before her other tulips even popped out of the ground.)  Anyway, every spring they've been a surprise in my garden, but now they're more like a special gift.  (Hi, Mom.)

I - Inspired by . . . the success of my dining room re-do, I am thinking ahead to another big project.  (I have one last old wallpapered room to go.  It's my upstairs bathroom, and it is awful.)  But . . . not until next year.  (See "T," above.)

F - For fun . . . we're hosting a little beer tasting gathering for some of our friends tonight.  Tom has been busy making beer all winter, and it's time we share it!

Have a great weekend.  I hope you'll be able to enjoy being outside for some of it.



No matter what kind of week it is, I'm always happy to see Friday roll around!


It's time for some TGIF!

T - Thinking About . . . gardening, of course.  It's still far, far too cold to do any work in the garden, and there certainly isn't much joy to be found in looking at it right now.  But you can be sure I'm doing a lot of thinking about it!  In fact, I'm really thinking about this . . . 


(Which looks like this once things kick into gear. . . )


I need to move the path.  Which means . . . moving plants and the small pond.  (We relocated Garden Buddha last fall.)  This portion of my garden has been in a holding pattern for a couple of years now -- while I've focused efforts on other areas.  In the meantime, the garden has overgrown the path, and it's causing lots of "flow" problems.  It's time for some changes -- but it's gonna be complicated!  (Tom is readying his digging tools already.)  I'm doing a lot of thinking. . . 

G - Grateful For . . . a change in plans.  A friend canceled our lunch date scheduled for today, and I am grateful for an unexpected break in my day.  (We'll catch up another day.)

I - Inspired By . . . signs of spring.  That crooked picture of the blue sky out my window at the top of this post?  Well, I took it yesterday as I was lying on my couch, waking up from a 20-minute refresher-nap.  (This time change has hit me hard.  I've been exhausted all week.)  I woke up, and there was that lovely blue sky!  And I've seen some barely-appearing buds on a few trees this week.  And my crocus are up - although not quite blooming yet.  (Because cold.  It is very cold here right now.)  Spring is coming - and I'm inspired.

F - Fun . . . Tom and I went to Bell's for dinner-and-a-beer the other night, and Tom ended up purchasing grain for another batch of beer.  As he was using the equipment there to grind the grain . . . 


I was having fun reading the signs on the wall.  Here's my favorite. . . 


TGIF, my friends!  Have a great weekend.


It's been a really busy week around here.

But now it's Friday.



T - Thinking about . . . gardening.  Our weather did another flip-flop, and that has me itching to be out in the garden.  (It's amazing how quickly 17 inches of snow can melt with a couple of 50-degree F days and a little sunshine.)

G - Grateful for . . . a low-key weekend ahead.  I need some time to breathe.

I - Inspired by . . . this new book (available as a pre-order for now).  My "uniform" is already tunics-and-sweaters, so this book is right up my alley.

F - Fun ahead . . . I'm starting to make some plans for a possible May visit from my sister.  Could it include "Hamilton?"  (Stay tuned. . . )

Hope you all have a great Friday, continuing right on through the weekend!



Here's one last look at Alabama (oops -- there actually might be one more, later in this post).


I can't stress how cool it was to be driving along country roads in Alabama and just . . . suddenly spy a cotton field.  I know that it's no different, really, than finding corn fields in the Midwest, but it's all relative, and for this northern girl, it was a delight!  On our drive back to Nashville, Vicki and I pulled over on one of these country roads to get a closer look at the cotton and take a few photos.  (I can just imagine the folks in the nearby farmhouse . . . "Dwayne, would you look at that?  Folks have stopped to take pictures of our damn cotton again. Northerners. . . ")

Anyway.  Let's TGIF.

T - Thinking About


Thanksgiving!  I've gathered all my recipes, and I'm making my lists.  It's time to get organized!

G - Grateful For


I am so grateful for my grand adventure last week, but after returning home mid-week to a couple of action-packed days, I am grateful for a (relatively) quiet weekend . . . so I can do a bit of digging out and get myself on track for the holidays.  (And I have quite a pile of . . . stuff . . . to work my way through.)

I - Inspired By


Yeah.  You guessed it.  I am inspired to MAKE ALL THE THINGS again.  I want to stitch and knit and sew and and try new things and touch all the fiber!  That Alabama Chanin workshop was just what I needed in the fiber-inspiration-department.  (I even decided to forgo my regular watercolor class next semester and sign up for rug hooking instead.  So stay tuned.)

F - Fun


These two show up tomorrow!  They'll be visiting all next week (an extended visit as part of their Farewell Tour before they head to San Jose in January), and it will be great fun to have them around.

TGIF, everyone!




This week is turning out to be a bit moody-broody, weather-wise . . . 


But, hey!  It's Friday!  (And look how green our grass is. . . Now.  In November.)  Let's TGIF, shall we?


T - Thinking About 

I've been thinking a lot about sewing lately.  Although I rarely blog about it (mostly because I just don't do it much these days), I know my way around a sewing machine.  There was a time when I sewed most all of my own clothes; when I pored over fashion magazines and copied what I liked for myself; when I sewed curtains and cushions and even bedspreads; when I sewed costumes and Easter dresses and matching Christmas jammies for my kids.  Heck . . . once I even sewed Tom a custom fishing vest!  Now, most of my sewing is done by hand -- when I indulge in some slow stitching à la Alabama Chanin.

I've been thinking about sewing - and Alabama Chanin - lately . . . because (oh.my.goodness. I can't even believe I'm going to type these words) I'll be headed down to Florence, AL next week.  To go to a 3-day Alabama Chanin workshop.  Right there at The Factory.  And . . . (this is the best part) . . . I'll be going with Vicki!!!  (We've had this planned for well over a year now, but we haven't dared blog about it.  Because so far off.  And pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming.)

But here we are.  We leave next week on Tuesday (make that Wednesday)  (Thanks, Vicki!).  And I am THINKING about it . . . all. the. time.  (So much so that I can't even keep track of my own travel plans apparently!)


G - Grateful For

I am so grateful that, when I was 5, my Great-Grandma Strom pulled me (the oldest of the grandchildren) aside from all the cousins at some family gathering and asked me, "Would you like to learn to sew?"  YES!  YES!  I was so eager!  She patiently showed me how to thread a needle and make careful running stitches that spelled out my name.  She didn't even get irritated when we discovered I had stitched my work right to my skirt!  She just cut it off, and helped me start again.  That first lesson turned me into a life-long stitcher, and I will be forever grateful.


I - Inspired By (or maybe we should say Intimidated By. . . )

Okay.  So visions-of-sugarplums are dancing in my head about this whole Alabama Chanin thing.  I am so inspired!  But also . . . so intimidated!  Holy cow. . . Alabama Chanin.  It's like my stitching mecca.  We get to try on all the things.  We get to choose a thing to make.  They will coach us and teach us and show us and inspire us.  It's like getting a back stage pass . . . to meet the Rock Stars of the stitching world.  (I hope I don't throw up.)


F - Fun

Right.  I think THAT will be a given!

TGIF, everyone.


Don't forget to check back over the weekend.  NaBloPoMo means never having a day off!




This day . . . has nearly gotten away from me!  Quick!  TGIF before it's over!


T -- Thinking About

Yoga.  I am doing a lot of thinking about yoga (as in . . . driving Tom crazy with my thinking about yoga).  For a variety of reasons, it's time for me to find a new yoga gig.  But after 10 years, that's a hard move to make.  I'll work it out.  But for now, I'm thinking about it.  A lot.  (And happy to have my own home yoga space.)


G -- Grateful For

I've been procrastinating helping my dad with a few things at the Secretary of State's office (people living in other states may relate better if I call it the DMV).  He just needed to do an address change and change the title for his car.  Little things, sure.  But things that would take a whole afternoon, given the normal lines at the SOS office.  


I decided to try the new online advance appointment system recently introduced by the SOS.  Worked like a charm!  We were in and out in less than 15 minutes!  Front of the line!



I -- Inspired By

Still thinking about that border/not border on my arrows shawl, but definitely wanting to add beads and tassels.  Guess what I discovered?  Kalamazoo has a cool little bead shop!  I paid a visit earlier today, and WOW!  What a potential rabbit hole THAT place is . . .  The staff there was super friendly and helped me pick out and prepare some beads for my shawl.  I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to use them, but I certainly am inspired.


F -- Fun

Tom and I have a date tonight . . . with Mary Chapin Carpenter!  Can't wait.


TGIF!  Enjoy your weekend, everyone.



We're back from our trip.  And it's Friday. . . just in time for TGIF.


T - Thinking About

We just spent a week in Colorado -- half of our time in Boulder, visiting Brian and Lauren, and then I spent the other half in Fort Collins, getting together with my sister while Tom visited his family in Cheyenne.  Tom and I lived in Fort Collins for several years in the early 80s.  He was in grad school at Colorado State University; I worked there.  We got married when we lived in Fort Collins.  Our life together . . . began in Colorado.  But visiting now?  I have to really search to find The Familiar!   So much has changed in 30 years . . . Every now and again, as we were driving around, my "spidey-sense" would tingle, and I'd know I was close to something familiar.  If you want a sense of time-marching-on, well . . . there's nothing quite like a visit to your old stomping grounds.


G - Grateful For

Spending time with people I love!



I - Inspired By

While in Fort Collins, my sister and I made a visit to The Loopy Ewe.  I've never seen a more organized, neat yarn shop!  So. Much. Yarn.  We had a great time.  I ended up with enough Wollmeise to knit a sweater (soon. . .), and my sister cast on for a Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho that very afternoon.  If you're ever in the vicinity, I highly recommend a visit.


F - Fun

While in Boulder, we had a great time playing disc golf with Brian and Lauren.  Tom is a long-time disc golf player - starting with his grad school days at CSU (and he actually introduced Brian to the game years ago, back in Kalamazoo), so this was a real treat.  (Disc golf . . . really needs it's own blog post; maybe next week. . .)   We also sampled lots of Colorado microbrews and played pinball -- so there was plenty of fun!


Enjoy your weekend, everyone.




It's Friday.  And that means it's time for some TGIF.  


T - Thinking About

I've been thinking a lot about trees this week.  See the blooming black lace elderberry in my photo from last spring?  I've always loved this tree in my back border.  It added such nice contrast and was perfectly suited to it's location.  Perhaps you're noticing I switched into the past tense there?  Because . . . that tree succumbed to a borer this summer, and slowly slipped away.  Tom dug it out last week, so there is a big hole in my garden.  There is also a hole in my front garden border because I lost my lovely star magnolia earlier in the season to a nasty case of scale.  So.  Trees.  It's time to stop grieving and get serious about replacing both trees!  (But . . . with what???)

IMG_9656 2

G - Grateful For

The photo above is a peek inside my bullet journal/planner for tomorrow.  There is . . . nothing on it!  And Sunday looks just like that, too.  I am grateful for an open weekend.  I haven't had one in a long time, and I am looking forward to enjoying a wide open weekend.


I - Inspired By

Right before the wedding weekend, I went to my local Subaru dealership for an oil change (because of a "lifetime deal" with the purchase of my car a few years ago).  It ended up being an exercise in frustration (for reasons I won't even bother with, but rest assured I let them have it on the post-service survey), BUT . . . I did see this sign sitting on a table in the Hyundai showroom (because I had plenty of time to walk ALL around the dealership that morning - more than once).  I love finding "words in the wild."  They always inspire.


F - Fun

Yesterday was a busy day, and by dinner time, both Tom and I were too exhausted to think about making dinner.  So we headed to one of our favorite local brew pubs for beer and dinner. . . and a bit of pinball.  I am terrible at pinball, but Tom played a lot of pinball as a teenager -- and he is very, very good.  He can play for hours on a couple of quarters -- because he wins free games all the time.  Anyway, he had a lot of fun with this particular game last night -- and I had fun just watching.  (Eventually, he had to walk away from his next free game . . . because #mygodwe'dbethereallnight.)

TGIF, everyone!
Enjoy your weekend.


T. G. I. F.

I have a new way to celebrate Fridays . . . T.G.I.F.


T - Thinking About

Lately, I've been doing a lot of thinking about passion, purpose, and finding meaning.  Which all seems pretty "heavy" . . . but is actually kind of fascinating.  You can count on more blog posts exploring this "theme" in future.


G - Grateful For

I'm grateful to have had some time with my far-flung family last week.  My sister.  My son and daughter-in-law.  My daughter and son-in-law.  My dad and Tom, of course (not very far-flung at all, but still. . . ).  So nice to be together!



I - Inspired By

I'm inspired by the garden catalogs appearing in my mailbox . . . featuring spring bulbs in all their blooming glory.  I am certainly inspired to ORDER.  The question remains, though . . . will I be inspired to PLANT them come October???


F - Fun

It was fun to spend an evening with Kathy last Monday!  Who knew it would prove so difficult to find an open restaurant on Labor Day???  But we managed!  And then we spent some time sampling Tom's latest home brew (and a glass of wine) and laughing a lot!  It's always such a treat to meet other bloggers in real life.


T.G.I.F., y'all.

Enjoy the weekend!