Shades of Summer

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What colors speak to you in summer tones?  I see summer in shades of the sea. I’m not sure why.  I live in a place far from the shore where humidity hangs heavy in the 100 degree heat. It seems more probable that my summer palette might be something more akin to orange and red, but it’s not.  Cool blues and greens define summer to me.

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I couldn’t pick between a scarf and a shawl.  So why not both?  Maybe calling it a “wrap” is more apt?

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I used Catania again.  Clearly, we’re in a relationship.  I just love the stitch definition that comes from mercerized cotton, and the array of colors available with Catania allow me to indulge in color play.

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I’ve struggled creatively over the last several months.  Sometimes, when you feel stretched, it’s difficult to indulge yourself in pursuits that require additional self-discipline. Luckily, this pattern and I are old friends, and we were in no hurry.

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Scrub-a-dub dub, baby!

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Mundane?  Yes.  

Plain?  Never! 

Wash-Cloth-Stack-2No two are alike.  No, it’s true.  I love the juicy enthusiasm of that orange cotton.  I love it so much that I couldn’t stop with just one- so the second one was a little different.  More knit stitch-less garter.  It jacked my stack.  The negative impact to the glorious uniformity I sought is a little painful for me to behold…but that’s life isn’t it.  Sometimes you have to let go of uniform perfection and just follow your bliss.  And if bliss takes the form of chain knitting seven different painfully  simple dish cloths because your brain is fried and you just can’t deal with any more decisions-even if that decision is simply what to make next?  Well, so be it.

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They’re pretty and I love them.  Not only are they pretty, but they really are better than your run of the mill terry dish cloth.  They do a bang up job.  I know this isn’t exactly a newsflash for  anyone, but you know how it is.  You read lots of stuff about how old school domestic products really are better, you try a few, and then you face facts that although you may feel better about them, they don’t actually work better.  You know what I mean?  If we’re honest with ourselves, we know Mr. Clean Tub and Tile really does work better than vinegar or baking soda or bleach water.  It is what it is.  But these sweet babies put our old dish cloth to shame!

Scrub-a-dub dub, baby!

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RIP Catniss…

Catniss passed away today, leaving a soul-sister, Buffy the Buff Orpington.

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Cause of death is unknown, the family speculates that her heart couldn’t take the stress of her first molt.  She always had a weak constitution and was prone to inexplicable seizures.

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Catniss the Chicken- A freakier chicken there never was…

March 2012-May 20, 2013

Rest in Peace

The Call of the Wild

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What a great book!  It reinforced some universal truths:  1)  Dogs are awesome!  2)  Men (people) possess great capacity for cruelty and  3)  You can tell a lot about a person based on the way they treat animals.

Seriously, who wouldn’t love this Dog? Look at that face!

BuckBuck-our main character (the dog) finds himself on a great (harrowing) adventure to the Yukon during the Klondike gold rush.  It makes for an exciting story.  You know what else makes for a great story?  This guy…

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Jack London was an interesting guy.  I have a feeling that Buck the dog was somewhat autobiographical.  Buck was a dog’s dog.  And Jack was a man’s man. He was a man’s man with a resume that included work in a cannery, the California Fish Patrol, Oyster Pirating, his own stint in the Klondike gold rush, and gentleman rancher-all on top of a prolific literary career.

And like all the other gentlemen I’ve read during this little project, his private life was a fascinating mess!  His first marriage was to Elizabeth “Bessie” Madden.  He and Bessie were never in love, but they were great friends.  Marriage took care of that. Within 4 years, they divorced.  Apparently Bessie didn’t approve of London’s “shenanigans” and wouldn’t let him near her when her would come home after an absence.  She was scared he’d bring home VD. Jack apparently felt that was a bit unfair,  but within a year of divorcing Bessie, he married Charmian Kittredge, “his soul mate and perfect match”.  Per Wikipedia,

” In broad outline, London was restless in his marriage; sought extramarital sexual affairs; and found, in Charmian Kittredge, not only a sexually active and adventurous partner, but his future life-companion.”

Nice.

The jury seems to be out with regard to London’s death.  It’s been a popularly held belief that he committed suicide.  Most biographers now agree, however,  he died of uremia aggravated by an accidental morphine overdose.  Whatever the circumstances, London died November 22, 1916 at the age of 40.

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Jack London wrote about the harsh realities of nature.  His language was visceral and brutal, but also beautifully written.  This was a good book, and I have to say, Buck the dog is my favorite main character to-date from my New Year’s Resolution books.  I liked Buck.  I liked him very much.

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The Eternal Optimism of Spring

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Spring! Despite the fact that I live in a climate that really has only two discernible seasons, I love Spring! My love overcomes the adversity of the blizzard of pollen that coats every surface including your teeth if you open your mouth at the wrong time. How can you not love the blooms of spring?

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Spring is that golden time in the garden where nothing has really gone wrong yet. You labor, and your labor is rewarded by restored order and new life.

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I am committed-I repeat-committed (!) that this will not be a repeat of last year (or what I like to call “The Year of the Fungus”).

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We shall overcome! We shall overcome the beetles, slugs, black spot, powdery mildew, blight, fire ants, birds, squirrels, moles, and dogs! We shall overcome and we won’t spend a thousand dollars doing it. We will be thrifty and the garden will be lush and organic.

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And after we accomplish these things, we’ll actually go outside and enjoy it …instead of retreating to the realm of air conditioning and tv.

Ahhh, the eternal optimism of Spring… ;)

Stuff and Nonsense…

Jen-and-MinThese two make me want to start singing “Sisters” from White Christmas….I’m going to do it, “Sisters! Sisters!  There were never such devoted sisters….”  Minerva on the left is definitely Rosemary Clooney.  I love the was she’s staring down her schnoz at Vera Allen, I mean Jennie Weasley.

Buff-and-CatThese two just want some more grass clippings.  You’ll note Buffy has saved a tiny piece for later.

Ash-climbing-TreeA tree blew down during a storm last week.  It was dead and we were actually pricing having it taken down when thunder storms eliminated the issue for us.  Blessedly, the storm was traveling in a rare southerly direction, thereby preserving the fence you see behind it.

Kids-on-TreeThat’s not the only miracle either-you’ll note that not one, but two of my children are playing outside.  Playing! Outside!

Ashton-Garterstitch-scarfI tried to coax this one to model my Keyhole scarf-he was not pleased.  Looking back with the clarity of hindsight, I’ve had better ideas.

Flowering-weedYou see that?  That’s a weed.  The picture is pretty, but the weed is not.  It has stickers in addition to the little flowers and it is vining through my dwarf azaleas in a way that is not ok.  Weeds, we have lots of them…

Budding-Live-OakWe also have lots of these.  At the moment this picture was taken, this sweet little Live Oak Seed pod was still attached.  I don’t think any of them are attached anymore and they’re covering every square inch of the place with their polleny presence.  I don’t think “polleny” is a word, but I’m going to pretend it is.

And just when you think you can’t stand the pollen any more-not even one more minute…

Purple-Iris-BudYou remember…that pollen, it has a purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

April’s Book Selection

“With the aurora borealis flaming coldly overhead, or the stars leaping in the frost dance, and the land numb and frozen under its pall of snow, this song of the huskies might have been the defiance of life, only it was pitched in minor key, with long-drawn wailing and half-sobs…”

Buck

The most eloquent dog ever!

Anyone want to join me?

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A Practice Run

Egg-in-HedgeHave you been practicing?  We have…Our Sunday forecast calls for thunderstorms, and we have all these beautiful eggs, so we called it a practice run…We choose to be optimistic.

Egg-on-MailboxSometimes the most obvious are the hardest to find…

Egg-in-Crepe-MyrtleUsually we dye our eggs fantastically bright colors-electric jewel tones. This year, we’re more subtle…a little more covert…

Rock-EggDo you see it?

Closeup-Rock-EggA bit of a chameleon…

Egg-in-Flag-BracketHmmm….good one.  It took a minute or two…

Egg-In-TreeDelightful…don’t you think?   Happy Easter everyone!