collecting january 2019 …

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January has been a full month, filled with:

  • time with good friends;
  • moments spent with the little boys;
  • several stitching gatherings;
  • good food; and
  • winter/wintry weather –  which also meant fewer treks outdoors.

I read, stitched, knitted and also took a few photos of the sky and winter trees – have I ever shared that I like “naked ‘ trees the best? So much of their character is revealed with the sky as background. We watched a couple Super Bowl football playoffs and plan to watch the game with pizza and champagne. Years past, tho’ not recently, Norman’s had Super Bowl parties.

On the 12th, I stumbled upon The Cleveland Symphony Orchestra’s performance on PBS! The pianist, Lang Lang, played my favorite Mozart piece: Piano Concerto No. 24. The entire performance was superb, especially the camera work. Watch here .

The quilt shown on the 28th was part of my quilting group’s weekly show and tell; I especially liked these two blocks of  one, and in particular, the flying goose surrounded by flying geese quilt pieces…

Sunday the 27th and Thursday the 31st, I joined stitching friends. I thought I’d make a Waterlogue collage; the top row of photos, L to R, show knitting, and needlepoint. The bottom row features needlepoint, hand applique´and machine quilting on a wall hanging.

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This is the quilt (lower right photo)  – made by friend Diane- without the waterlogue. The quilt consists of gorgeous Asian fabrics, quilted with shiny gold threads. All very lovely.

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And that’s a wrap for January! We’ve had snow all day, since about 6 am this morning; it rather looks like it might be ending. Tomorrow’s to be sunny and 44° Guess ol’ Phil will see his shadow…We all know what that means!

Enjoy your weekend!

Cheers~

weekending | 1.22.19 …

 

… the long awaited MLK and Women’s March on Washington weekend began for me Thurs 17th. The day started with joining my Thursday stitching friends, a quick run to Target and a  quick stop at Barnes & Noble. Yes, I bought a book; perhaps two…tho’ I can only recall the title of one as I type this post…

My friend Linda’ was coming from Portland OR; her flight, scheduled to arrive about 6 PM, was delayed in Denver. A quick check showed her flight’s ETA: unknown. Since I was so close to the airport, I called friend Pat  (she lives about 10 miles from the airport) to see  if I might stop by to while away the time. But of course she answered. About 40 min after I arrived, I checked to see if Linda’s flight status had been updated. On Time arrival! What???! Apparently the flight met up with a tail wind and therefore not only made up time but also arrived ahead of schedule! When I arrived at baggage claim, there was Linda!

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Friday, we lounged, er uh, enjoyed an extended Morning Solitude and Quiet Time. She was getting adjusted to the time change, the all-day before travel. I, well, I never turn down a chance to extend MSQT. Eventually, we got dressed and made a Whole Foods quick run, stopping on the way home at an Ethiopian restaurant for takeout dinner. Linda’s a big fan of Ethiopian cuisine (and  actually prepares it  tho’ she’s not Ethiopian). I hadn’t had Ethiopian cuisine in easily 15 years, so for me, the meal was truly a taste it again for the first time experience…and a yummy one, I might add!

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Saturday dawned early enough – a bit on the cool and dreary side – rain expected but we were ready with rain ponchos and boots, just in case. The March route was changed by the Park Service – we were not allowed to march on the Mall nor by the White House. There were many law enforcement personnel – both federal and city – and barricades: police cars; tanks; trucks; dogs; police on horses, etc.  We marched and chanted and they watched, minding not when marchers stopped to take a photo with mounted law enforcement officers in the frame. At least 100,000 marchers was the official estimate. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store for pizza fixins… and champagne and Talenti gelato.

Sunday was pamper our feet day (I’d made mani/pedi appointments for us at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon); that took about 4 hours for us both. After, we went to Panera for soup and a sandwich and then to visit Dolly, Chris and Elias. Home, we joined Norman in watching the Super Bowl playoffs,  finished Fri/Sat leftovers and we knitted.

Monday, thus far  the coldest day of the year (would you believe 3 – 13 degrees?) dawned too soon. Linda had an early afternoon flight home to the west coast.  Unfortunately, her layover flight was delayed for 4 hours plus and she didn’t get home til 1 AM-ish PST!

Home, I watched TCM’s showing of A Patch of Blue with Sidney Poitier and then started making a quilt. I sewed until Nightly News came on. We watched more TV and called it a night about 11 pm.

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Slowly today I am resuming normal life… doing laundry and a few other household chores… making a few more quilt blocks … savoring weekend memories … missing my friend.

 

weekend prep …

 

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This weekend, we’re supposedly  in for our first snow of  the season…so, just to be on the safe side, we went shopping for ice melt and a few food  items to tide us over. I suspect, based on previous experiences, if the snow does come, it’ll be short-lived…but then again, I could be very wrong! Only time will tell.

If it does snow, I  have plenty on my agenda to keep me company. Today, I tackled the clothes’ closet – finally! I feel so much better that I did…now, I need to finish clearing stuff off the bed…because it just might be needed for sleeping .

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The sun is setting, the moon is shining and homeward bound rush hour traffic is on the move. Have a great weekend!

Cheers~

 

TGIF …

 

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Thinking:  I’m glad that the weekend is here, I’m tired and it’s only the 4th day of the year/month! I spent yesterday having a lovely IKEA breakfast – all of $3 including coffee (unlimited if purchased before  10 am ) – joined by friend Diane. After eating and catching up, we shopped… I bought some household items I probably didn’t need and stuffed husky dogs for the little boys.  Chris took to his tout de suite; Elias…not so sure… After breakfast, I had a medical appointment with a new ENT doctor. That always takes more time, filling out papers, etc…after, I drove to pick up my sister. By the time I got home, it was about 5:30 pm; I sat down to watch the news and the House proceedings…and found myself glued to the TV for most of the evening. Long story short, I never made it to my computer to post … “first thing tomorrow,” I told myself.

Grateful: Today dawned with great promise. I arose at my usual early hour, 5:30-ish and settled in for an extended MSQT, especially since yesterday’s was somewhat abbreviated (for a good reason). My plan for today included

  • writing an early morning post;
  • taking the tree down and putting away the last remnants of holiday décor;
  • gathering items from the basement and the garage targeted for donation or discard to put in my car;
  • doing a couple loads of laundry.

Inspired: During MSQTI spent a fair amount of time looking at quotes and definitions for my 2019 word…I’d not settled on one. I’ve been contemplating continuing my 2018 word: mindful/mindfulness using it as an umbrella and focusing on several subsidiary words per quarter, sort of like the spokes of an umbrella. After breakfast – cereal and yogurt – I decided to take the tree down and put away the other holiday decorations. Just as I was finishing with the tree, about 11:30 am, my sister arrived. Several hours later, getting ready to take her home (she’d borrowed my car Thurs eve), I couldn’t find my house keys…YET AGAIN! After spending another 20 minutes looking for them, in the house, I gave up. Blame it on the Time Thieves, I told myself…and her. We left; I dropped her off and returned home. About 3:45pm, I put a last load of laundry in the dryer, fixed a snack and for some reason, put my hand in my back left jeans’ pocket*. Dah Dah Dum!

Fun: Guess what I found? I’m almost ashamed to admit: Yep! My keys! So, that settles it: I’ve been toying with the word habit for a while and yes, I am choosing it to be the first spoke of my umbrella. I am too thru with spending time looking for keys. I’ve decided that there are only two places in this house where my keys will reside. .. certainly not my back jeans’ pocket! * And yes, I sat on my keys and no, I never felt them!

Keeping my fingers crossed, practicing mindfulness habits and wishing all a lovely weekend!

Cheers~

TGIF | 12.28.18…

 

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Thinking about:  my to-do list items between now and New Year’s Day; I’m hosting Recent Reads and we’re also celebrating my friend’s New Year’s Day birthday. I need to decide on the menu, though I’ve a pretty good idea of what I’m serving…

Grateful for: a quiet and productive day at home!  The rain came, is still with us as I prepare this post. Neither the crow nor I decided to brave the rain – I opted not to join my friends for the quilt shop outing; there will be another time…

Inspired by: the progress I’m making in my studio purging/organizing and 2019 planning:

  • surfaces are clearer;
  • the picture of what is where is coming into focus;
  • I am feeling settled, more comfortable with what I think will be my 2019 word/s …

Fun: My friend AJ sent the adorable pillow… kinda looks like someone’s dog. I wonder who that someone might be – hmmm.

Enjoy this last weekend of 2018. I’ll return the 31st.

Cheers~

holiday magic …

 

Christmas was filled with magic for one little boy and a chance for an older brother to show said little one, the magic of how this strange thing, called a toy, worked. We all gathered at the little boys’ grandmother’s – Mimi, as she is known! – for brunch that lasted throughout the afternoon! A grand time was had by all!

Today, I’ve been up to my elbows in a much needed activity, purging stuff, aka döstädning – getting ready for 2019! Hadn’t realized how late it was until I glanced out the window and saw the sun was setting! Time flies when you’re having fun!

Cheers~

it’s tuesday | 12.18.18 …

 

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~blue sky blooms and love the menagerie of dogs all decked out for the holiday ~

Another day filled with blue sky and sunshine, tho’ a tad brisk out…but, who can or should complain? Certainly not I.  A good day to run a couple errands: post office and a leisurely trip to Whole Foods. Feeling quite proud of myself for not buying any talenti gelato – t’wasn’t on the list and I did not even tempt myself by walking past the refrigerated section.

Home. After putting away the groceries and consulting with Norman’s son re: N’s IE Explorer acting up… somehow the browser’s image size got changed to a teeny tiny 10. Michelle (Obama;  I’m still listening to Becoming) and I took a brisk walk. She’s a great walking companion and had it been a tad warmer, I might’ve walked and listened a  little longer.  I’m not in a rush to finish the book – I’ve just finished the chapter on the night of Nov 4, 2008, when Barack Obama won the election for POTUS 44. I have very vivid memories of that night! My plans to give my nieces and sister each a copy for Christmas have changed: my niece – grand niece’s mother – beat me to the punch! Haven’t a clue about what to substitute…but, I still have time.

I don’t have much holiday prep to do; however, it might help if I sat down and made a list…

Have you finished with holiday prep?

Cheers~

 

n is for nutcracker …

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My childhood memories are filled with Christmas at Chicago’s Marshall Field department store. My recollection is the center court of the store housed the tallest  (I thought) Christmas tree in the world, reaching from the first to the 5th or 6th floors:

  • One could spend her entire lifetime just looking at that tree and hoping, wishing, barely-able-to-wait for Christmas.
  • One could go to each floor and look out from the balcony, getting a closer view of the tree’s decorations.

The 14th letter of the alphabet is N and Daniel Saboda’s Christmas Alphabet Book‘s popup is the nutcracker. Both of the only two I own have interesting stories:

The first – on the left –  I bought around my 50th birthday from a major Washington DC department store – Woodward & Lothrop.  Woodie’s (as it was fondly known ) was a real department store with 4+ levels and everything one needed, from clothes to furniture to toys, What I liked best about the store is that it was a smaller version of Chicago’s famed Marshall Field’s.  I don’t know why but nutcrackers were a big part of my Marshall Field’s memory and when I saw this one, I bought it. All for a mere $19.99, then… I still have the box.  Sadly, shortly after the holiday season, Woodies closed its doors forever.

The other nutcracker is a more recent purchase; I think maybe in the past 10 years. It – a “quilter” – usually resided in my sewing studio. Several years ago it disappeared;  I couldn’t find it anywhere. This year when I looked in a storage bin, there it was! No doubt, time thieves at work again: building time, picking up something by mistake, realizing their mistake, and putting the missing object back where it belonged so it could, would be “found!” Eureka!

A lot of Christmas holiday magic is remembering and reliving childhood memories, don’t you agree?

Cheers~

 

 

sometimes mondays | 12.10.2018 …

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7:40 am  30° F

  • microwave running ~ boiling water for a second cuppa tea …
  • thinking maybe I will ask Santa to bring me an electric tea kettle – hmmm …
  • sweater blanket around my shoulders to keep me warm – it’s kinda cold this morning …
  • blue sky dotted with white clouds, some tinged with pink, here n there …
  • I stop to breathe for 5 minutes and …
  • hear the distant sound of a train’s whistle.

My tea’s steeped and soon I will end MSQT to fix a salad.  Today is my quilt group’s annual holiday luncheon. The salad is simple, tasty and colorfully Christmasy . Here’s the recipe:

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I diced some of the red pepper and used the slices as garnishment.

Hope you’ve had a quiet start to your Monday too. Have a grand day!

Cheers~