Lavender in my garden. 

I will always associate lavender with a particular family member. 

I know Rosemary is for Remembrance, which is my OregonBrother's favorite, but these I planted to remember his wife.


I spent yesterday with a close friend. HMHMC went with me on my first date with my husband. The three of us went for drinks after work. She has a long history of making me feel brave enough. She has a no-nonsense approach to adversity and in the past few years it has REALLY been exercised. I am proud of her and grateful to her. 

Today, I will spend some time knitting on a shawl that starts from the ruffle up. It takes a little over an hour to knit one row. I forgot these things when I chose this project:
1. I hate lace weight yarn
2. I hate long, boring rows of all knitting and/all purling
3. I hate lace weight yarn

I will knit two more rows on it, and then switch to working on some chunky weight FOOT OVENS (a Yarnharlot recipe) and maybe some worsted socks with left over Iris Cascade 220 Superwash.

Don't worry, quilting friends. I finished my danged octopus applique'.  I don't like octopus armpits. I don't like teeny, reverse applique' bubbles. I don't like loose-weave fabric and dull scissors combined for applique'. But I finished it.


Yesterday was a regular day. Visit to the recycling station, exchange of books at the library, stop at the grocery store for more things in packages that will end up at the recycling station.

 Great sandwich for lunch, though. Fresh tomato, avocado, and hard-boiled egg on homemade whole wheat bread. It was delicious. 
I was never a fan of tomatoes but I find I am craving them. My Florida-sister-in-law and my Florida-brother have forever spoiled me for fresh avocado.They sent me a huge box of the smooth-skinned kind a while back--grown on their Florida estate.

 I can't wait to be the recipient of fruit from their New York compound.

Sounds grand, doesn't it? My Florida-brother can make anything grow anywhere and when he has spare time and a few inches of black dirt, stand back.


I am still here. 

I am still knitting. 

I am also wandering around in the garden, some. 

Also, applique is stepping up to take my hand.


This is for my Quilty Friend




Enjoying knitting socks.


Eating like my young, hippie self.
Of course, I didn't have the money for the good stuff, just the old brown ones with the pebbles in them from the food co-op, back in the day.


On my needles:
Laule's by cabinfour

Laule'a socks. I love the lavender color. These are my first purple socks, I think. Top down is not my usual method, but it is nice to get back to basics again.
 I am calling mine Garter Cowl . The pattern is Montague Street Cowl, by Nina Machlin Dayton Designs
I didn't think I would like garter stitch, but I had the urge to make something for a Knit-Along. I had some Lichen yarn to repurpose, so I looked for a lighter neutral to pair with it. I learned mitred squares and the cleverness of the construction meant only 4 ends to weave in. I bought buttons while on the Rose City Yarn Crawl. Favour Valley Woodworking. I don't know if you can tell, but these are mulberry wood. I must have stood in front of the display for 20 minutes trying to decide. Maybe today I will put those buttons on and call the project finished.


Several mornings this week temperatures have begun in the very low 40s, then warmed up to my favorite Pretty-Much-Need-a-Light-Jacket-Temperature. ALMOST warm enough to sit on the porch for an hour or so. This weather has been beautiful and the bunnies love it. I bought some repellent to remind them not to dine on my day lilies. 

There are wild blackberry bushes right across the road, and when I open the door to go into the yard, they either dive for under the porch, or head to the briar patch. Yesterday, we had a pair of Blue Tick Hounds scenting around for hours. Then, they headed to Quilty Friend's yard, where she reports they took a nap on her lawn after trying to sit in her porch swing beside her! They were as cute as can be. It made me want to have a couple, myself. 
How I imagine myself with a Blue Tick, sitting on the porch.
Neighborhood is probably better off if it is jacket weather, however.

I DO want a big dog, maybe, but I know scent hounds have their own scent that is not pleasant indoors. What kind of dog should I get? 

I have a few years to consider it. Lily dog turned 10, yesterday, and she is still frisky as a puppy. However, she was NOT happy to have other dogs in her yard.


Knitting today. I will go to Strings and Stitches and work on this cute little cap.
Since I am knitting at the store, the polite thing is to work with yarn purchased there. Last time I went, I bought some Cascade 220 

for Perennial, by Alana Dakos, and cast on. It is going to be a fun knit, but I have to keep myself from knitting on it at home so I don't use it up before I want to go back to the store. It is nice to sit and be still in the company of other ladies.

Don't think I am devoting the entire day to leisure. I will begin my trip with a visit to the dump and end it with a trip to the grocery store. Sometimes I think I should just go from grocery store directly to the dump and just unload the groceries right there. 

Actually, it is the packaging that is taking me back to the dump on a regular basis. I have too much wild life to consider composting my organic refuse, so that takes up a little space.
By and large, though, packaging is the bulk of my carload. That and junk mail. Every time I go, I have enough junk mail to fill two boxes that hold 10 reams of paper each.


I spent Earth Day in my yard, learning to do a little gardening. 
The weather was WONDERFUL. 
I spent time in my mind with loved ones who loved gardening when they were on this earth. 
It was a very satisfying day. 


I have not done much quilting, but instead, turned to knitting. The mindlessness of knitting has been something I rely on every day. At first I was randomly stash diving, coming up with a ball of yarn or two, making some scarves--grief knitting--sometimes inventing a pattern, other times just randomly selecting one. If you visit my Ravelry Projects page, you will see a lot of grief knitting. A. Lot. In fact, I just counted 24 projects of the 76. Granted, I have not always made a project page for what I am knitting, but still. 

Then I read on one the blogs I follow, about a particular yarn store. I initially followed Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara because she posts a lot about her quilting. I also enjoy reading about her gardening and putting-up-food experiences. I will probably never be a prepper, and she and her family eat a lot of things I do not eat, but that is part of why she is interesting to me. It is fun to know something new and to look at something from another's perspective. 

But, by far, the biggest change Judy has made in my life came from the discovery of Eat.Sleep.Knit., which is a yarn store only a couple hours drive (probably 2.5 hours) from me. 

I still haven't physically visited the store but on January 28, I made the decision to participate in their Yarnathon 2015 activities, and I bought yarn for several of the Knit-Alongs. I used birthday money. It was still one day before my birthday--12 hours, 34 minutes, and 27 seconds before--that I placed my first order. 

THEN I discovered how to earn the badges. It was too late to get the badge for ordering on my birthday, but there will be more chances for other badges. In fact, I am applying for Phone-A-Friend with this blog post. I have promised myself a visit to the ESK (Eat.Sleep.Knit) shop, once I get to a certain point on a particular project. I CAN navigate Atlanta. I CAN do it by myself. I will have fun!


A month ago, I left to stay in Oregon with one of my brothers. It was exactly the right thing for me.  I found I had in me the strength to do a NUMBER of things I did not remember I could do by myself. 

I stopped feeling helpless.

I did not realize I had felt helpless.

I still feel helpless some of the time, but now I know inside ME is someone who CAN, and when I really think I CANNOT, I know so many, many people who will help me until I remember I CAN again. 

Thank you to all of you.


How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees? Othello, Act II, scene 3

I lost patience with healing at home.

I think I have always been "pro-active".

So, I jumped up and did something about it. I have gone to stay with my brother for a few weeks. The change of environment is doing me a world of good. I have HomeSon with me and AwaySon will join us soon.


Yeah, I might pawn my car for this one. Probably still not enough cash...
If you are ever in the neighborhood of Grays Antique Central, pick this up for me, will you?


HERE is the just the tea caddy for a breakfast nook. It is compact, spare of detail, and quite feminine and lovely. I believe it is Tiffany but the link goes to Britannia Fine Antique Silver. There are some lovely things on the page but this is not one of them. I believe it sold before I could pawn my car.


Locally grown food at the WalMart?
I don't care for the BIG BOX stores anymore. They seemed to be convenient, and often I could make one stop instead of several to accomplish tasks and errands. Then they grew, including entire grocery stores, ophthalmology offices, optometrists, dentists, hair salons, pharmacies, and fast food chains. Made in America ceased to be the motto as they sought more and more cheaper and cheaper products. 

Now, some of these places are closing, right at the time some of the small towns are "finally getting our W******"

I moved to my small town after living in a metropolis. I could see the trend for the Big Box. When the Big Box moved in to the big city where I lived, strip malls with small family businesses crumbled. Picturesque "Avenue" type shopping gave up many of the unique stores that made the Avenue special, in favor of high-priced, over-marketed chains. 
Reap THIS, WalMart
Even grocery stores changed as they tried to keep up by offering more and more non-grocery items, sometimes reducing the variety of food offerings. But life is a cycle and we reap what we sow.

You can guess that I am not unhappy to see some of these Big Box closings. But what to do with the abandoned stores? I hate to take a clue from TEXAS. (Yes, that's right, I am anti-most-of-the-whole-Texas-arrogance thing, not to mention what Texas does that Florida thinks is so grand for education. Education. Don't get me started on that and Texas. Or California.)

In McAllen, Texas, they made their eyesore into a LIBRARY, and what a library! 

This library has 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children’s computer labs, and 2 genealogy computer labs.

AND a Farmer's Market, which has indoor space during inclement weather. All of this I read about at http://growfood-notlawns.com

Thank you, WebUrbanist. I enjoyed being in Texas today.


Art Nouveau, ca 1906
So beautiful as tea caddies go, but alas, it is silver PLATE and not sterling. The design suits me, but the material, not so much.  Just as well, it is sold. The listing is found at Titus Omega.


Press on. One step, and then the next.


I made one of these last month.


Have you ever been lectured at the grocery store? Not by a family member, I mean, but by a total stranger? A year or two or three ago, I saw these "pods" for the first time. 
I reached over my cart for a package and I was considering the cost, convenience, environmental impact. I had just about made up my mind that I could continue as I had long been used to; hefting the heavy container off the shelf, guessing where the line might be in the cap so I don't over detergent the wash, pouring it out over the wash, then digging around to find my glasses among the soiled and now damp and detergent coated laundry. 

I wear reading glasses--cheaters--most usually on top of my head unless I have to read something up close or look at where the line in the detergent cap might be. When doing the laundry, my glasses invariably fall off either into the wash or in that narrow space between the washer and dryer where they take a bounce and head for the back wall.

"That's what's wrong with people today," barked a gentleman trundling his cart from up the aisle closer to my cart, "always looking for the easy way." 

I instantly imagined his wife beating his shirts and jeans against a rock, just as his grandmother did for his grandfather. I imagined I knew a lot of the important points of his personality. I imagined I knew his political leaning. I imagined I knew what "news-er-tainment" channel he watched. I imagined I knew what he had for breakfast: eggs his wife gathered from chickens she had raised, butter from the cow she milked, bread she baked after kneading it herself, and bacon from the pig she slaughtered in the back yard.

"You may be right," I answered sweetly. (I HAVE learned a thing or two from my parents.) 

I had been planning to put the package back on the shelf, but instead I put it in the cart and grabbed another. (No one has managed to beat the rebelliousness out of me. Or the sarcasm.)

Later, I returned to the detergent aisle and exchanged my "easy way" pods for the detergent I usually buy, after making sure my self-appointed mentor was not around.

That was a few years ago. Now I use those pods every week. Not only that, I bought the same type of product for my dishwasher. 
I found out that my laundry pods cost one cent more per load than the large container of liquid (which I cannot lift), and two cents more per load than the size container I CAN lift. 

I am living dangerously. I spend $.04 more a week on convenience. That is $2.08 more a year. 


Just the thing for me. If I had this, I think I would have to have the dining room redesigned to feature such a lovely tea caddy.
You can find this at the Cooper-Hewitt, where it is "resting" in one of their storage facilities.
Come to that, I might have to just buy a new house in keeping with its quaint, Tudor (actually pseudo-Tudor--this is a Shavian Queen Anne half timbered style) architecture. 

I live in a chalet style house. Maybe I should just pass by this one and look for a chalet style tea caddy.


I am who I am. I accept my pace.

1.31.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Happy Birthday, 



Knit-A-Long (KAL) #9 is called Sweater Free For All. I chose MAXFIELD Cardigan by Amy Christoffers from a list of suggested patterns. Technically, IF I FINISH BEFORE DECEMBER 31, my project should qualify in several categories, but I will have to select only one--no dual entries.

If you click HERE, you will find yourself at SAVORY KNITTING, which has bunches of patterns that are interesting. I am looking at the Pomme de pin Cardigan, and the Long Sands Cardigan. Oh! And Bailey Cardigan.

But I didn't choose any of those, I picked MAXfield and if you look at the pictures, you can see I have given myself quite a challenge. I wrote to get permission to show you the pictures, but I didn't hear anything back, so here is a 25% slice of just one of the pictures. I hope it has you clicking the link to see the rest of this ingenious cardigan. If you want to knit along with me, you can buy a copy of the pattern directly from Ravelry.

Surprisingly, the yarns I chose have no orange in them at all...

1.29.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Happy Birthday to ME! I think I will celebrate by planning a trip to Oregon, and knitting a sweater.
I joined the 2015 Yarnathon, Knit-A-Long #9, of Eat.Sleep.Knit., a yarn store that is only two hours from here. 
I was placed on the Cowlets team, but I don't know what that means yet. 

I will spend more time on Ravelry, if that is at all possible.

I learned about the shop and the Knit-A-Long from a blogger whom I read everyday, Judy Laquidara. Her blog is called Patchwork Times. She does a lot of cooking, sewing, chicken raising, and knitting. 

Oh, that's right. Maybe you want to see the sweater pattern I picked out. I'll be right back, tomorrow, with a peek. I will try to get some accurate pictures of the yarn, but had little success with pictures today.

1.28.15--BLAST FROM THE PAST with music by Wagner - Die Walk├╝re: "The Ride of the Valkyries" (Boulez)

A couple of years back, I wrote this post about an upcoming trip to Florida. I meant to take very good care of my FOUNDATION GARMENTS, but, well, you know, I don't like hand washing the unmentionables because I am, well, you know, lazy. 

This time, I promise to wear my upper body under armor into the shower, wash gently with shampoo and rinse well, hang dry. For at least the first four months. So if you wonder what I am doing today, I am doing battle. Cue the music, maestro.

The following is from a post about two years ago, when I was on a trip to Florida. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
"...it is time to buy underwear

In fact, in a remark to QuiltyFriend (the Original) I said that I would rather have a mammogram.  I have asked/stated to my accompanying family that I will require an afternoon at a REAL MALL to accomplish this mission and I wish to do so ALONE with NO ONE waiting for me.  Surely I would have taken care of this little task locally if not for the fact that I would have had to drive to Atlanta or Chattanooga to find what I require. 
"The Iron Maiden has an embrace anyone would want to avoid. Once inside the Iron Maiden’s conical frame, you’re unable to move because of dozens of steel points stabbing from every direction. An interrogator screams questions at you through a small hole, while poking you with jagged edges, or just leaving you for hours to stew in your thoughts."
 ~~ The Web Urbanist

Do you think you will miss me and wish you could be with me on my shopping trip? Then check THIS out: You can download your own torture device COLORING BOOK! It is the next best thing to being there.
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1.27.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Found on Wikipedia, of course
Happy Birthday, MidFloridaSisterInLaw! 

She is my family travel coordinator, runs a business she founded, enjoys cooking, ziplining, roller coasters, Costa Rica, traveling of all types, reptiles, and has a wealth of ideas for activities and games. 

Her middle name is Energy, and it can tire you out just to watch her. 

1.26.15--Happy Birthday--It's gonna be one of those months...

Tomorrow would have been his 130th birthday. Happy Birthday to my Paternal Grandfather. I wish I had met him.


More on tea caddies...

Found on Pinterest: I could make my own! The site is in Spanish, but I know how to translate easily enough. Or, I can just read the pictures.

These tins are easy enough to come by, they are all over the place. My question is, what do people do with the cookies? They are quite simply, indistinguishable in flavor from the corrugated paper that separates them inside the tin.

I could crumble them and put them on the road for the birds, I suppose. After all, they eat gravel so their palates may find these cookies just the thing.