weekending | 12. 28-29.19 …

saturday 28 december

Mother Nature provided a delightful taste of spring – temps in the high 60s and since my plans for the day were rescheduled, I decided to make a WanDer* trip to the Smithsonian Mall, specifically the National Gallery of Art’s  Sculpture Garden. I ws looking for a gift, had something special in mind (unfortunately, what I wanted wasn’t in stock any longer – but I found a suitable substitute.). As I was plotting my agenda and Metro (subway) trip, I discovered a store totally dedicated to journal writing tools: journals; pens; Traveler’s Notebooks; planners; etc … Yes, Virginia there is a full fledged journal/planner store!

After making my purchases, I took Metro to the Smithsonian Mall! Lots and lots of visitors…

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line waiting to get in the Museum of Natural History

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while eating lunch, I enjoyed watching the  ice skaters

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sunday 29 december

Friendstitching Day.  It poured buckets most of the day… perfect for a day of stitching and reconnecting with friends.  We were treated not only to good food but wonderful details from friend Michelle’s recent trip to Copenhagen, Praque and Paris!

The butterfly is a needlepoint being stitched by Margaret; it will eventually be a pillow. The upper right photo is cross stitching friend Pat started many moons ago, she says; her plan is to finish in 2020. I think all the stitching’s done. She just needs to frame. The lower right is also needlepoint, being stitched by Michelle. (If I remember correctly, she bought the canvas in Paris). I am close to finishing a cap I started knitting earlier this year!  Just a few more rows and bind off! Yes!

And now it’s time to wrap this up and go fix myself some tea. Unfortunately, Santa brought me a cold…  I’ll be back tomorrow with an end- of-year One Little Word update.

Cheers~

*WanDer is my shorthand for scheduling solo journeys to the Smithsonian Mall; I aim for once a quarter ~ don’t always make it!

to be read …

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I’m enjoying end-of-year reading recaps. Today, I read Mary’s, Juliann’s and Elise Blaha’s… each has books I plan to read and/or have in my queue. My goal for several years: read more fiction. And I have… but I must also admit, I’m not reading as much in the genre as I think I should.*  So, what’s a person to do? Keep on keeping on is the short answer.

To help me I’ve outlined a simple fiction reading goal: each month I plan to read at least one of the Inspector Gamache  (Louise Penny ) titles until I have caught up  – tho’ that’s dubious ’cause she turns out books way faster than I’ve been reading them. Currently, I’m ready for the 6th – Bury Your Dead  – and she’s published 15! My plan is to read (listen) to the series. At that pace, I hope to finish the series before #16 is published … when?

The other part of my goal is to read, also monthly, a contemporary best seller. Currently, I have A Gentleman from Moscow, Water Dancer and The World We Knew in various stages in the queue. All of these titles are print. I have added The Dutch House to the list and I may listen to the audio version which has received good reviews.

My next challenge is to determine the best time of day for reading. Ideally, evening hours are prime except I have this habit of running out of steam when the sun goes down… I think I shall just have to experiment: maybe an early afternoon break and/or my late afternoon walk.

To be continued…

Cheers~

 

* don’t have to just want to

on Christmas morning | 12.25.19…

I awoke to witness another lovely sunrise following Christmas Eve’s glowing sunset. Quiet as I write; the furnace, chugging along, keeps the house warm. A dog’s bark – that momentarily shattered the peace- has ended. Frost adorns rooftops and grassy surfaces.

~a friend is a present you give yourself~

Arriving just yesterday, a package from friend Kathy; I open this morning and am greeted with a delightful mug and all sorts of Christmas/Holiday themed paraphernalia to include in my Christmas album/journal. I squeal -only to my ears – with delight!

My second cuppa tea, graced by a delicious Christmas cookie made by friend Betsy. Yum! Betcha can’t eat just one! Right. I treat myself to two!

Two new books, under the tree, ahem, await my perusal. Gifts from me for me. Simple Abundance is an updated version marking the 25th anniversary of the original publication. 366 days of reading await! Norman’s gift is in the freezer: steaks; burgers; pork chops…what he requested. In my car, new floor mats…

Today, this morning, will be quiet; we’ll join family mid afternoon. I’m excited to see what Santa brought the little ones: Chris, 5 and Elias, 2. Two Christmases ago, Elias, after a two months’ early arrival and nearly a month in the NICU, was home for Christmas. We are so grateful that both he and his mom are doing well.

thoughts on my 2019 word …

 

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As I, on the cusp of closing out this year’s experience with one little word, contemplate the myriad choices that have presented themselves over these last couple months of 2019, I’m struck with the small dictionary of words I’ve amassed over the past nine, ten, (eleven?) years. Begin. Complete. Document. Chronicle. etc.

My 2019 word: habit is one that I’ve toyed with perhaps all my life. Both the making and the breaking. As is my habit – pun intended – whenever I embark on a new adventure, I do a lot of research, shopping, trying a variety of approaches and experiences. Some might describe that as being attracted to bright shiny objects and in a way, I agree – tho’ I like to think of it as experimentation. This year was no different. Always, my aim/goal is to find the path of least resistance; as a result I think I often tire sooner than I should… mainly because I’ve not quite settled in/on a path, routine, etc. I guess one could easily describe those actions as “my habit” and thus, the raison d être for my having a lot of unfinished projects lurking in my closets… Having said all that, I’m surprised I get outta bed in the mornings <smile>.

My focus on habit for 2019 results in my affirming what I have always known: ideas and possibilities have the habit of grabbing my attention. It is who I am.

Because the year is coming to an end doesn’t mean that my focus on habit will end. I shall continue to keep the word and my actions at the forefront as I embrace my 2020 word, which,  I think as I write this post, will be _ _ _ _ _ _*

Do stop over to Juliann’s post re: her 2019 word!

Cheers~

*To be revealed next week; stay tuned!

tgif | 12.20.19 …

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~day is done, gone the sun~

thinking… the month has really flown by, as has the year. Hard to believe that there are just 11 days left in the month and the decade! by golly, just this time 10 years ago I was preparing to retire…and wondering what would be next? how was I going to fill my time? realizing I’m still pondering that question…some things never change …

grateful … that we’ve not had to brave much cold weather this week, despite 20 degrees at the start of this day. Temps today made it to 40 degrees, and we’ve been greeted with sunny skies, thankfully …

intending … to brave the shopping crowds tomorrow and maybe look for twinkling lights that hang vertically in a window… still no decision on the tree (and soon it won’t matter – shhh). When I was a child, we did all the tree buying/trimming/decorating on Christmas Eve day…guess a part of me still operates on that clock … I recall that the year my sister’s son – my nephew – was just weeks away from his first birthday, she and I were traveling the streets of Toledo, well after midnight, looking for an open tree lot…which we found!

finishing … Just think, in a little over 19 hours, Fall will have been superseded by Winter.  Do you have shopping yet to do? Have a great weekend.

Cheers~

 

 

 

 

unraveled wednesday | 12.18.19

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~a friend is a present you give yourself~

Is unwrapping the same as unraveling? Of course not, silly. Today, Pat, my longtime friend of 33 years and I met for a long overdue lunch and reconnection. We’d not seen one another for nearly three months! We had a lot of catching up to do…and we did. We also celebrated my birthday (Nov); the lovely journal – despite the light’s glare – a gift from Pat, is made by an artist who lives in Oregon. After lunch, we stopped at a delightful store that sells all sorts of art supplies… I needed to replenish ink for my LAMY pen. And we both had our creative juices stirred a bit by some gorgeous iridescent watercolor paints; for sure, we’re coming back in 2020, just around the corner!

After two days of rain, today was sunny, lovely and cold! Perfect for spending quality friend time. Tho’ I have not included any knitting or other fun craft update in this post nor nary a word about this past week’s reads, I encourage you to join Kat and others for Unraveled Wednesday… lotsa good books and fun knitting projects are shared there!

Cheers~

sometimes mondays | 12.16.19…

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… are cold, wet – both rain and snow; a great jammies day; and rest and relaxation -especially since I’m plumb tuckered out from yesterday’s Christmas make-n-take tree ornaments’ party with 5 kiddies, 4 boys and 1 girl, ages 7, 5, 3, 2 and 1! This is the back story:

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When Dolly was 5 – 33 years ago – I had a similar party for her and three other little girls so their mamas could do a little unencumbered holiday shopping and have a few moments of peace ;-)). My mom was alive then and the two of us had a grand time planning, preparing and playing with the little girls – who also had a grand time making the crafts and being five! One of the crafts they made was a cloth angel (in center of photo) stuffed with cotton and simply tied with package-wrap ribbon. I still have the angel…and Dolly has the memories.

Fast forward to now: Dolly wanted to have a similar party (for Chris, Elias and her very. best friend’s three kids) and asked if I would host it; of course, I said yes and yes, I’d provide the craft experience and supplies. Top of the list: cloth angels.Yesterday was the party. And to that, we (Chris – my niece – and I ) also helped (made) elf ornaments.

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The two older boys, Din (7) and Chris (5), made angels and elves with the help of their moms and me… tho’ Din spent a goodly amount of time coloring a picture he drew on newsprint with magic marker crayons. The 3 year old and Elias, 2 years, played, mais oui, and the littlest, the girl who just had her first birthday Nov 16, mostly sat on her dad’s lap. The two moms, nieces Chris and Kayla and I were run ragged by the two younger boys; that Elias is a mover and strong. Norman, my sister and the best.friend’s husband solved all the world’s problems…

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All good things come to an end as did this day. Time for the kiddies to go home for bed and the adults, to collapse. I’m sure we all will remember the day with fond memories and who knows, maybe the little girl will recreate the day when she’s all grown with children or grands, too.

… are a great day for memories.

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday|12.11.19…

 

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Earlier today I wrote a draft post; imagine my surprise when I discovered it had been unraveled: MIA; gone; kaput!  Oh well! Be that as it may, I have no tales of unraveled knitting – I’ve not done so over the past week – or reading; I’ve been dipping in a couple books, none have captured my attention nor time. And, as I rewrite, I am still puzzled : where is that post?

Time out: I decided to look on my phone for the errant post; no such luck. So, then I went to my iPad that I’d used to write the draft – and by golly, there it was and now, here t’is:

Today finds me sitting at Panera, having finished lunch and enjoying a cuppa tea. I had an early appointment on our first snowy morning of the season. The sun shines, the first snow – just enough to coat flat surfaces and bring a smile – is gone and the air’s filled with the chill. My meal served both breakfast and lunch meals so I’m satiated. Soon, I’ll pack up and walk to Barnes & Noble, stopping along the way to window shop…my first foray among the holiday shoppers.

Today I completed a very. big. item on my 19 in 2019 list…(and if I could find the list, I might be able to check off other completes)… doing so almost has me ready to turn a somersault – hah! WHO am I kidding? Despite the huge check mark/cross out on my list, my days, since last Wednesday, have been very full and I’ve not knit or sewn a stitch or barely read a word – for the latter, I exaggerate …

It’s 8:43 PM; time for me to wrap up shop this evening and turn my attention to the news being made in Congress. Perhaps I’ll get some knitting done. Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday.

Cheers~

 

sometimes mondays | 12.9.19…

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… come around sooner than expected…hmmm, let me see, last Monday, the last day I blogged, I noted the weather was cold and windy; today it is cold, windy and wet! I wondered what the week was to bring; it was busy!

  • I pulled out Christmas stuff and decorated the living room except for the tree. We need a new one… and we need to have a meeting of the minds: I want real. Need I say more?
  • Saturday’s house tour was fun. Most of the 7 houses on the list were owned by young couples, with one or two preschoolers. It’s always interesting to see current trends and how people decorate their homes. Horizontal chandeliers (with 3-5 individual lamps) and beaucoup (5-8 ) pillows on the bed seemed to be the décor of the day.
  • I only attended one concert – yesterday – Handel’s Messiah. Superb!

Today was my quilting group’s annual holiday potluck luncheon; everything was good. Entertainment consisted of our singing two songs about quilting – one sung to Let It Snow and the other, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – and solving the holiday word scramble (pictured above). Have fun!

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This photo was taken at one of the houses; of course I couldn’t resist!