Friday, December 31, 2010

Uh Oh . . .

Remember all that snow?

We had a heat wave yesterday . . . and it thunderstormed most of the night. . . so all that snow melted, and it kept on raining . . .


does NOT bode well for my basement . . .

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Eve Eve . . .

It's been a week of fun things in the mail, Chez A :-)

Today, a little box arrived . . . my bead spinner! Hot Dog! This means that the Shipwreck Shawl is somewhere in my future in 2011. I have wanted one of these since I saw one at the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in July. I don't know why I didn't get one right then . . . but I didn't. I got this one off Amazon.

On Monday, a box arrived from Land's End - cargo pants for my upcoming trip to Egypt, and a couple of new turtle necks.

On Tuesday, some DVDs of The Omega Factor, an old British SciFi series arrived.

Yesterday, at work, my new DVD player arrived! Yay! My old one finally bit it over the holiday weekend when I was attempting to watch My Name is Khan. Bummer. So, since I needed a multi-region player, I headed out to eBay, which is where the old one came from. It was at least 9 years old, so I don't feel too bad about getting a new one.

And yesterday, when I got home, a little box was waiting for me. . . it was from my friend, Michelle at Boulderneigh. She was worried that since The Great Cleanup of 2010, I might not have a place for it. She was wrong. That sweet lamb with the hat and Wellies on! Her name is Heather, and Michelle says that she is the same color as her ewe Rechel was - the one whose fleece Michelle gifted to me (I made socks for her with it). So Heather is on the shelf in my office - next to my Buddha, my Christmas ewe, and my V for African violets, and in front of an awesome photo of my mom holding me on the porch of the house in Riverdale. All my important stuff is on that shelf. :-) Thank you Michelle :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Productive Day . . .


I spent this last day of holiday vacation accomplishing things here. All the additional Wollmeise yarn I got at Thanksgiving in the two updates is now photo'd and catalogued in my stash on Ravelry. Ditto for the awesome yarns I got from my swap partners in the 2010 Advent Swap. I got some wonderful yarns from my Swedish swap partner Asa, and some fiber, too! My other swap partner also got me some great stuff, including a yarn called Jewel Box, which is a chenille that I like very much. I'm a lucky girl!

Yesterday, I decided to see if I could knit one entire sock in one day. I'm happy to report that I can, indeed, do this :-D I don't plan on doing it very often, but at least I know I can. These will, eventually, be for my cousin, K who actually wears all the socks I knit her. She picked this yarn out of my stash - it's Araucania Ranco Multi. It is not superwash, so I have warned her - and in fact warned her before I started, that she would have to hand wash this pair. She says she's fine with that . . . cross your fingers. anyway - there's my sock-in-a-day :-D

So, all the miscellaneous yarn has been accounted for, and a boatload of magazines catalogued and filed, as well as the addition of some more books that have made their way to me, including a treasury of Scandinavian Knitting from my Swedish swap partner - it's so interesting and I hope I can make some of those Lovikka mittens with some of the yarns she sent me, too!

I even made a little progress on what's left of the Great Cleanup of 2010. It would be nice to have my guestroom back in some sort of shape - it's been a staging area long enough.

I ate way too much food in the past week . . . I will be paying for this for awhile, but it's all a process.

It's been a good holiday vacation - and tomorrow it's back to work!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas . . .

The scene on Christmas morning, Chez A :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comfort and Joy . . .

I am firmly convinced that the cure for the blues is to listen to the blues. Thanks for all the well wishes :-) Everything, of course, did look better in the morning.

The YOSS update is that we started a group on Ravelry . . . and within two days we had more than 300 members (we totally freaked out :-D). We now stand at 402 members - who would have thought that my little blog post back in October would morph into something that would strike a chord with so many. We are preparing to knit a LOT of socks in 2011.

And now - it's two days until Christmas. I am still a bit overwhelmed - this week has blasted by me with obligations and work and just living every day. Family and friends continue to fight cancer and old age - it's hard. And yet, I remember every day that am so very lucky.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you will have heard this before - it bears repeating: Every day that you wake up is a gift, for tomorrow is promised to no one. I believe that we are here to live our lives. Live them, not watch them from the sidelines. Blogging has been a bit sparse around here lately - that will be changing in the new year . . . I have a project in store about living my life that I will be talking about here. We'll see how it goes.

And now, it's time for me to see about getting a few things done around here but before I get cracking, I would like to share a poem with you. I'm not big on poetry, but this one - for many years - has stuck with me. It was written by a woman named Ann Weems, and published in a book called Kneeling in Bethlehem. Whatever your beliefs are, I share it with you in the true spirit of Christmas, and I hope Ms. Weems won't mind. Unfortunately Blogger will not allow me to format it as it should be . . . I'm sorry about that and have added some spaces to hopefully help with that. Still, I want to share it with you. It's called "Star-Giving."


What I'd really like to give you for Christmas
is a star . . .

Brilliance in a package,
something you could keep in the pocket of your jeans
or in the pocket of your being.

Something to take out in times of darkness,
something that would never snuff out or tarnish
something you could hold in your hand,
something for wonderment,
something for pondering,
something that would remind you of
God's Advent Light in the darkness of this world.

But stars are only God's for giving,
and I must be content to give you words and wishes and
packages without stars.

But I can wish you life
as radiant as the Star
that announced the Christ Child's coming,
and as filled with awe as the shepherds who stood
beneath its light.

And I can pass on to you the love
that has been given to me,
ignited countless times by others
who have knelt in Bethlehem's light.

Perhaps, if you ask, God will give you a star.

Merry Christmas, my friends :-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Blues Come Over Me . . .

Sometimes "the holidays" are difficult for me. This seems to be one of those years.

So much seems to come to a head at this time of year. The two oldest members of my extended family are dealing with (1) a hip replacement and bone cancer, and (2) old age and dementia. One of my Canadian cousins died just before Thanksgiving - a young man with a heart ailment. And one of my other Canadian cousins was just diagnosed with large and small cell lymphoma.

All I want to do right now is isolate myself. It just seems like there is too much swirling all around me. Tonight I was supposed to go to a Christmas concert up on the Northwest side, and I just could not motivate to go out in the crappy weather.

I missed Thanksgiving altogether because of the stupid cold I had that still has me coughing. And now my left foot hurts in a new spot. This is particularly disheartening. I have done quite well and continued to get better all year long. I still have daily pain from the plantar fasciitis, but it's nowhere near what it was - and custom orthotics have helped immensely. I'm trying to start walking on the treadmill again, but I can't get past about 15 minutes. . . I must have walked too much yesterday in my new hiking boots (with the orthotics in them) because when I got home last night, the center of the ball of my foot seemed to be in the wrong place - like it's pushed out somehow. Feels like I'm walking on a lump. I know better than to say "what next," but JesusMaryandJoseph, WTF next?!

In an effort to make myself feel better - and not eat - I bought some yarn. And a couple of books - both things that usually make me feel better. I stayed up late on Thanksgiving to catch a Wollmeise update. That yarn has not yet arrived from Germany; however, I also caught the Friday morning grab bags, and those skeins (Claudia calls them "We're Different") arrived yesterday. These are skeins that came out light or dark or were test colorways or just somehow didn't make the full grade. They are just as beautiful, if not more so than any regular Wollmeise colorway. I only got one duplicate, and it's of a colorway that will make an awesome shawl. L-R, Gazpacho, Resi, Gewitter Himmel, Tiefer See (spiralen), Pfauenage, Rosenrot, and two skeins of Kornblume.

I even spun my first silk (Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks - the colorway is called Embers), thanks to a wonderful afternoon up at The Fold with Toni. I'm really happy with it, but it's just not doing much for my mood. Not much is helping right now. All will be well - my foot just probably needs a good night's sleep.

So - apologies to Knitterary and Amy - I guess I was only good for one year of stash busting.

I just have the blues . . .

. . . it'll all look better in the morning. It always does . . .

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

:-D says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

I'm an Uber Cool History and Literature Geek :-D

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Welcome Winter . . .

Here's the scene this morning in Chicagoland! Our first real snowfall.

How happy am I that I got up out of the chair last night and went to the gas station and got gas for the snow blower? :-)

We're gathering quite an international group over at The Year of Stash Socks - 2011. If you're thinking about joining, I would like to encourage you to do so! It's sort of a self-imposed sock club - a way to use up some of the sock yarn in your stash. No pressure, no prizes, just some fun knitting with some fun people. The YOSS moderators pick the patterns each month - and you can choose to knit one or both. Imagine all the gorgeous socks you'll have next year at this time :-) As my friend, Darthknitter says, "come on, you know you want to!"

Plus, you get to snag this awesome icon badge for your blog if you have a blog - it was made especially for us by the lovely and talented KniftyRed!! Thanks Red :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010


I feel human today!! Yay! Amazing how a virus can wreak such havoc on a body, isn't it? But I'm feeling almost normal, and actually have a little bit of energy. A welcome change.

So - a couple of you agree with me that the wood chucks are hilarious - I think it's more the farmer guy on the tractor that gets me every time "you dang wood chucks! Quit chucking my wood!" :-D

I was also quite enamored of this one back in the day:

But my all time favorite is this e-trade one - it says it's from 2010 Super Bowl, but it's not:

Laughter is good for the soul, so anything that makes me laugh out loud is a good thing in my book :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Light at the End of the Tunnel . . .

OK. Today I feel marginally better. The good news is that the problem with my Photoshop software was in my computer - just needed to be rebooted again (I have a tendency to leave it running without rebooting for too long a time). I reinstalled the software and am back in business. Yay! I took a photo to prove it!

Here's my little tree this year, and two of my holiday geese. Actually, this was my mom's little tree. She wrangled it away from some florist many years ago - she adored it and they said it was part of their display . . . of course, it came home with her ;-) It's really awesome - I just take it out of the box, fluff it up, plug it in and there it is. I'm not decorating hugely this year. Simple seems to be better for me right now - I'm sure because of this stupid, stupid cold. Still, I have a few things out and they are enough :-)

I managed to get to Walgreens yesterday - Mucinex is my new best friend. The cold has shifted mostly to my chest. As the Brits say, I have a chesty cough now, and the Mucinex is helping to break that up - which is good. I'd like to avoid an asthma issue if possible, and I'd also like to avoid an antibiotic. I think my body is strong enough to fight this on its own :-)

I'm so NOT a good patient.

I have been spending some time pouring over the list of pattern choices for Year of Stash Socks since I pick for January. If you have thought about joining us, please do!! Toddle on over to the YOSS blog and join the fun!! It's time to actually KNIT some of that yarn we've been stockpiling. :-)

I've also been watching an inordinant amount of telly.

Is it just me, or is this GEICO wood chuck commercial as absolutely hilarious as I think it is? :-D

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What a Whiner . . .

Oh. My. God. How can one nose - one cute little perfect nose - create enough snot to go through half a box - and I mean the big box, not the little square boxes - of Puffs with Lotion in less than 18 hours????

Time to go lay on the couch and moan for awhile.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I am so Miserable . . .

I woke up yesterday sick. So I didn't get to go to my cousin's for dinner. And I can't have turkey anymore anyway, because a week ago Wednesday I had a reaction to it.

Some of you might recall that I had to quit eating chicken for about six months a year or so ago because whenever I ate it, my face started to tingle/get numb. After the six months, I ate it again, but not very often. Well, they were having a sale at the Jewel a couple of weeks ago, and so I bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and proceeded to marinate them in my FAVORITE marinade, and then pan broiled them. OMG they were so good. But there were 5 big ones in the package, so I cut them up and knew that I would be eating chicken a couple of times a day for awhile. . .

So, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday . . . and my face started to tingle. On Wednesday, no chicken, but I ended up having a turkey sandwich from Hannah's Bretzel for lunch that day, and by 4 p.m., my airway was restricted. I watched it carefully for the next hour and was thinking "do I go to the ER or do I get on the train and go home?" When it seemed stable after an hour, I took the chance and got on the train to come home.

It's not an allergy in the technical sense of the word, I guess, although it could turn in to one at any time - the doctor says it's an intolerance, and since the throat closing was far more scary than my face tingling, he also said it could have been a warning, and that next time I might not be so lucky. All I know, is that I'm not eating fowl again. Bummer. I was so looking forward to going to Chik-fil-A since it finally opened in Orland. I am majorly bummed and hope that maybe it was the turkey and not the chicken. But for now - no matter what - I'm steering clear.

Then, my PhotoShop software just quick working. I deinstalled it and tried to reinstall it. Zip. So - no photos until I figure out what new software I should look into.

I'm not eating fowl, I can't work with any photos, and I have a stupid cold. Who wakes up on Thanksgiving with a COLD?! All day - sneezing, gloppy throat, red eyes - everything - what a mess. I took an Allegra (allergy med) and that helped, and I've had a stock pot simmering on the stove to get more moisture into the air. I slept covered with Vicks and with the vaporizer on (so glamorous . . . ) and although I felt a little better this morning, I had to go to the Jewel because I needed some Puffs with Lotion tissues, and my favorite soup is was chicken noodle and yeah, not so much any more, and that's all I had in the house. So - Beef Vegetable is going to be my new favorite.

But in the mean time, I made myself some Kraft dinner (OMG it's so horrible for you - why on earth does it taste SO GOOD????) for lunch and I'm about to curl up on the sofa with some apple juice and a big glass of water. My gratitude journal is going to be interesting tonight. At least I'm not barfing - and that, my friends, is huge. That is something to be majorly thankful for ;-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, yet it's universal in its premise: Give thanks for all that you have. It's something that I do a lot - give thanks - and I wonder if it's easier the longer I live. I think it is because the older we get, the more life experiences we have. And life experiences - well they can be of the happy variety, or not. And when they are not, we begin to see that for which we can be truly thankful.

I am thankful for every day that I wake up . . .
I am thankful for the roof over my head and the food on my table . . .
I am thankful that I have a job . . .
I am thankful that I have health insurance . . .
I am thankful that I am an American citizen . . .
I am thankful for the wonderful friends I have . . .
I am thankful for my wacky family . . .
I am thankful that I can read . . .
I am thankful that I can read music . . .

You see, the list is long, and once you get started, you will likely find that you could go on for quite some time. Awhile ago it was popular to write a gratitude journal - where you would write down five things every day for which you were grateful. There is merit in this. Great merit. For the more we cultivate a habit of gratefulness, the more we will have to be grateful for. Yes, really.

It doesn't take much - just a notebook or journal and your writing utensil of choice. I did this once, back in the day - and it's time for me to do it again. What do you say? Will you take up your pen and begin to really know your life? No need to answer out loud unless you feel like it - no one is keeping tabs on you, except you :-)

Remember, we can choose. Every day we have the choice to be happy - the choice to be thankful for what we have. Every day, we can choose joy, even in the midst of sorrow, even if only for a moment. Even in the worst pain or grief there is something in our days to be thankful about. On the hard days, it can be tough to find five things, but they are there. I know this from personal experience. And it's pretty amazing to write this stuff down - to become cognizant of it, and then watch your life change before your eyes as you embrace this simple tool.

Happy Thanksgiving :-)

p.s. I'm also thankful that I know how to knit, and I am thankful that I have a pretty nice stash of yarn. AND, I am thankful for my friends, Tammy and Christa and the idea we have been cooking up - head on over to Year of Stash Socks - 2011 and see what I have been teasing about for the last month. I hope you'll want to play, too :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Made it to Tuesday . . .

Too much going on with various friends and family members in hospitals and ill health for me to keep not reading my email. I made it until Tuesday when both my Iona sister, Tori, and I knew that we needed to be checking things - so we went to 5 minutes, twice a day for email and any news . . . .

That lasted for me until this morning because I discovered that I missed some pretty important stuff. So - I'm reading, but not particularly for pleasure. Just emails that are necessary for various obligations. No books, no magazines, no patterns (knitting a lot of prayer shawl/lap robes and plain socks this week) until Saturday.

Hang in there with me.

It's an awesome exercise, and I'm glad I made it as far as I did.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reading Deprivation . . .

So - this week in The Artist's Way is the week of reading deprivation. That means that I won't be reading anything for pleasure. This includes blogs, Ravelry, my email, books, the newspaper, etc. This is always the hardest week . . . but this book is so awesome, and the tools Julia Cameron give you to work with are so functional, that I trust her.

So - just letting anyone who might want to know, know. If you need to catch up with me, you're going to need to see me in person or ring me :-) Otherwise, see . . . um, read you next week ;-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Indian Summer . . .

The blog posts have been few and far between here lately - sorry about that. I have been enjoying this last hurrah of summer.

When I was a little girl, the Chicago Tribune always printed a piece called "Injun Summer," written in 1907 by John McCutcheon. Apparently it's not PC any longer, but boy, it sure holds a lot of childhood memories for me. Times, however, change. No one burns their leaves anymore (causes cancer and air pollution), and our native people are no longer called Indians, but Native Americans. Still, I remember waiting for this when I was a kid - I think it was the drawings far more than the text that captured me. I have linked to it, above, in case you would like to read it. It was a mainstay in the Trib from 1912 until 1992, when they felt that the text had "outlived its day."

An on a completely other topic - are you still wondering about my little tease a couple of weeks ago? Well, here's another clue - my friend, Tammy the Darthknitter and I and our friend, Christa the Blogless have come up with something fun and we've been working away on the prep . . . a way to blast the stash using all different weights of yarn . . . and all will be revealed on Thanksgiving. So, yes, I know, it's mean to tease - but I'm not spilling the beans just yet ;-)

My friend, Karen, at The Knitting Patch gave my blog an award!

Apparently, now I'm required to tell you 10 little known facts about myself . . . Hmmmm. Well, first of all, let me say thanks, Karen! And I'm sorry it took me so long to get this going. I think I did one of these lists once before for something . . . so there might be some repeats, but that's OK.

1. I am a first-generation American.
2. I used to know how to say "Where is the bathroom" in about 10 different languages. (Now, I'm down to three ;-D)
3. I have met a greater than average number of famous people.
4. The 33rd Army Band once played Happy Birthday to me, personally! (it was thrilling!)
5. I sport ink.
6. I have moved approximately 30 times in my life.
7. I was in a Jeff-nominated show. (The Jeff's are Chicago's version of the Tony Awards.)
8. I love origami and have a number of books and special origami paper to make cranes with :-)
9. I really am a list-maker :-D It helps me get centered when the world is whirling all around me.
10. I am a really great kisser ;-)

Karen's right - this was harder than you might think - and so, I'm breaking the tradition, by not naming 10 more bloggers - but if you are reading this, know that you are beautiful, whether or not you are a blogger. You can claim this award for yourself and I encourage you to do so! You are beautiful just as you are. I'm not joking. So many never hear those words, or they don't hear them often enough. So, my friends and readers - I say it again: You are beautiful exactly as you are - right now - in this moment - with bedhead hair or a body maybe a little larger than you think you might prefer - none of that makes any difference: you are beautiful. Take back your power and own your beauty :-)

Take back your power . . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ready for Winter . . .

There has been knitting going on here . . . but some of it is for the Advent Swap that I'm participating in on Ravelry . . . I'm not sure my partners (I have two of them!) are reading my blog, but just in case . . . I'll wait to post until after Christmas on a few things.

In the meantime, here is a hat and scarf set that I made - for myself. :-) This is Colinette One Zero yarn that I bought last year on the Isle of Iona. It's a prettier shade of green than this photo would have you believe. And I know that that hat looks gigantic . . . but, I have a gigantic head. almost 23" in diameter, and 16" from ear-overthehead-to-ear. I have a really lot of brains ;-)

The hat is a simple ridged one that I modified to fit me, and then modified to have a flat top instead of one pulled in. The scarf is Professor's Scarf. I'm looking forward to wearing them both - and the way it's going, I won't have long to wait. Temps here in the evenings are hovering around freezing now, although they are rising up into the 50's during the days.

It's November . . . October has gone. And I know I do this every year, but I love this song . . .

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some Fun Coming Up . . .

All that stash yarn I mentioned not too long ago? Well, a couple of my friends and I have come up with what we think is a fun way to do some de-stashing . . . you might want to play along . . .

Keep watching this space . . . ;-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Artist's Way . . .

My Iona sister, Tori, and I started working through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way book again this week. This is something that we have done before. In fact, I had attempted working through The Artist's Way a number of times in the past and never succeeded until Tori and another Iona sister of ours and I worked through it in 2008. Ms. Cameron has structured it in 12 chapters, making it perfect to work with one a week, yet also making it flexible enough that if we need two weeks for anything, it's easily accomplished.

That's what we are doing again this time - a chapter a week. Yesterday I read the beginning, introductory pages and found things that I think I missed the first time. Either I missed them, or I am seeing them through different eyes this time. It could be that I am just seeing them through different eyes - eyes that are two years down the path from the last time I approached this work.

And it is work - but it is such awesome work for the spirit that I really cannot recommend it highly enough. What came to me this time as I was reading these beginning pages was what I'm ready. And what would it be like if I was actually following Julia's two guidelines. Morning Pages and Artist's Dates (more about them in another post).

She advocates a tool called Morning Pages. These are pages that you write out in longhand every morning - first thing. Three pages. A "brain drain" if you will - wiping the slate clean every morning - getting all the crap off the path and out of the way so you can safely walk.

It's not that I didn't do the work last time. I did. When I did this the last time - I was religious about writing my morning pages, caught up in the "rules" about writing them. But there are no rules - only the rules of perfection that I made for myself . . . Morning Pages rules don't exist. They were my own choice . . . my own everyday force of trying to be perfect. Still, I did the work. And I profited from it.

The big difference this time - already - is letting go of the need to be perfect, and actually doing the work with a sense of wonder. It makes a lot of sense to me that you have to DO the work, not just read about it. You have to get out of your head and onto the path. Morning Pages help do that. But this time, there is something else in these morning pages that is calling me (I've made the commitment to do them throughout this 12-week journey). I'm not quite sure how to articulate it, but I feel that they are now a different tool - that I am on the next layer of this soul and artist's work.

It's been awhile since I have talked about art and soul work - the path to one's self is not always straight and rubble-free. My own path seems to take quite the winding way around in pretty much every area of my life - but what a journey it is :-)

I am an artist. We are all artists - each in our own way. And art is different for every person - we find it in so many different ways and places. Art is not just paintings or symphonies or sculpture or great literature. Sometimes it's a house well-cleaned - or a meal exquisitely prepared and served. Sometimes it's loving a child - or listening to someone who needs to be heard. Sometimes it's an aria at the Lyric - and sometimes, a song in the shower.

Whatever your art is, I hope you nurture it - take the time to hear what you need to hear and know what you need to know. Life can be so overwhelming that we lose sight of ourselves and what is really important. This past year has been filled with so many wonderful things for me - but also a lot of stress. My focus is blurry and my creativity is at a low ebb. Part of me knows what's in store for me in the coming weeks from having done The Artist's Way before - but the beauty of a course like this is that it is different every time you do it, because you are different.

I am looking forward to working with Tori on this again. We have blocked out the time on our calendars for a weekly conference call because we live in different states - usually it's Saturday mornings. It's sacred time. You can do The Artist's Way on your own (although I was not successful with it by myself), but I have found that it's much better to work with another person or a small group of like-minded people. You receive so much when you work with others on work like this. Gaining insights you might not have thought of on your own. Making the commitment to meet and discuss.

It's critical to have that framework structure in place. Sort of the old "fake it 'til you make it" attitude. You just keep moving forward within the structure you have set for yourself, and eventually, it becomes ingrained - you've worn new passages in your brain, new ways to think and do. And although it might seem counter intuitive, that framework is liberating. It lights the path to your spirit. Without it, it's too easy to sleep late, or get sidetracked and think "Oh, I'll do it tomorrow . . ." and then tomorrow never comes.

I tried to embed a video of Julia Cameron talking about Morning Pages and it didn't work. So, here is the link to view it. It's very interesting.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crisis Averted

I found the telly remote. I'm sure my Iona sister, Tori, will be laughing when she reads this because I do this all the time :-D Except of course, now, all the places I would normally look for something that I lost are all cleaned up - it makes it challenging.

It was on one of the plant stands in the sunroom, but sitting down in a tray rather than up on the ledge. I have no idea why I set it there. :-D

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crazy . . .

I have lost the remote for the telly . . .

I have looked EVERYWHERE. Even the trash. It's like it just disappeared into thin air. :-S

Why don't they make these things with beepers on them?

At least the telly is on BBC America.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Stash . . .

So - I've been thinking about this for awhile, particularly since I just uploaded the last of my summer yarns to Ravelry (message to Knitterary and Amy - if you're reading this, the Wollmeise - all contracted to purchase on August 31st ;-) and the two from Cape Cod - the standard travel dispensation).

My yarn stash is clearly at SABLE (stash accumulated beyond life expectancy). I keep casting stuff on - startitis I believe they call it - and I did a serious destash this August as part of The Great Cleanup of 2010 (there is still stuff available on my Ravelry trade/sell page). And still, there is a really lot of yarn and fiber here.

Not so much as some of my friends have, but still, a really lot. And it's starting to weigh on me somehow. So I'm giving some thought to it. I've supposedly been on the stash busting wagon for more than year now . . . and I still managed to buy a really lot of yarn at various times and locations. Mostly Wollmeise this summer because I was wanting to get some more of it. I succeeded in that quest and picked up quite a bit of lace and sock yarn - for two colorways I got enough to make sweaters. (And then, I couldn't get gauge with the yarn doubled for the sweater I wanted. Bugger.)

And now. What now? I'm thinking it might be time to resurrect my Do It Yourself Sock Club. I didn't participate in any sock clubs this year, which is a good thing, since I have never even made the socks from the two I did participate in a couple of years ago. And I'm going to be FINISHING some projects and continuing to knit new ones, always knitting down the stash. Somehow this seems more important lately - I don't know why, it just does.

I just don't need all this yarn . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

Moving On . . .

The Great Cleanup of 2010 continues here, although at a much slower pace. The kitchen is showing signs of promise, and I got the desk in there pretty much clear. The guest room is still a staging area . . . but I got some stuff done in there yesterday.

Before . . .

. . . and after

I also photo'd all the yarn that was lying around and am uploading it to Ravelry soon. No ride for me today - I've been very very tired for the past few weeks - just not sleeping enough I guess :-)

I became an African Violet Society of America (AVSA) Senior Judge on the 1st of October. I didn't find out until this past Thursday. It's very exciting, actually. I was a Student Judge for three years, and then an Advanced Judge for six. It's hard to believe I've been doing it that long . . . it was another life completely nine years ago. But I still have plants and I still do like them - I did a little more repotting yesterday, and you know, life just keeps moving on.

The days are going so quickly lately . . . and somehow I feel like it's not enough - like somehow I'm not enough. I think that that is just transitional thinking - the seasons change, the days are shorter, and it's natural to start to evaluate where I am and what have I accomplished in the year . . . a little introspective this morning :-)

Fall truly arrived here on Saturday - overnight. Somewhere between Friday and Saturday, fall arrived. Pardon the car photos . . . :-D The last one, I just made my wallpaper - it's the tree across the street. It's always the most beautiful one on my street.

Here is my first pair of socks made from Wollmeise. The colorway is Skandal am Rosi. They were going to be for me, but as often happens of late, they have gone to someone else :-D This time, to my friend J in Massachusetts. I liked working with the yarn, and I think that the socks came out great :-)

And here is a pair that I made for my Iona Sister, Tori. They are Kollage's Luscious yarn in the Beach Mix colorway - cotton. Not fun to work with . . . but they came out great and Tori likes them :-)

So that covers my vacation knitting - just like the mess on the middle of the guest room floor, it took me a month to get them posted :-D and thankfully the mess in the guest room is more under control :-)

On the needles now . . . a hat, multiple pairs of socks, at least three sweaters . . . so it goes :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Indoor Gardening . . .

Thanks for the beautiful comments on my last post you guys :-)

When last we left our intrepid violet grower (um,that would be me) . . . hell, I hate referring to myself in the third person. When last I left you guys on the topic of violets, I had just had a great show at the Illinois State show.

Today, the Illinois African Violet Society had its Fall Meet, and we had a great group of people! Wonderful panelists, including Morgan Simmons, Gary Mikita and John Regan answered questions for part of the morning. We had a "Dawg" show, where people brought their worst plants (and hey - we all have them - in fact, I won two Best in Class for two horrible plants :-D). There was a silent auction, and a great lunch - a short business meeting, and then I talked about Growing plants for show and took a few of my dawg plants and demonstrated some grooming and repotting techniques.

I think I talked too much, but chatterbox that I am, once I get started, it's hard to shut me up. I was so lucky when I was a novice grower - I was taught by some of the best growers in Southern California and I try to share that knowledge when I can - I did a lot of name dropping today, something I don't usually do - but I like to give credit where it's due, and I would not be the grower I am, nor enjoy it as much as I do had not had a lot of great teachers. I think it went pretty well and I hope to see a lot of plants from the group at our next show.

And tonight, I put together my new light cart. It's the long one on the right. I have been playing around with the location of my stands. I have three of the 2' x 2' carts, one of which is in the basement. I thought about putting the new 2' x 4' cart in the basement, and then thought better of it.

I have three distinct growing areas in my home. My sunroom, which you can see in the photo, the back bedroom (AKA the Guest Room), and my basement. I like them all for different reasons.

The basement is perfect for the streptocarpus plants that I grow - not that many, but they like the cooler atmosphere down there.

And the sunroom location provides me with a lot of joy :-) I really enjoy seeing the plants in the evenings when I get home from work - whether or not they are in bloom. These have all just been set on the new cart so that I can clean up the other two and shift one back to the back bedroom. I'm not quite sure yet, but I think I'm going to leave one of the smaller stands in the sunroom along with the larger one. We'll see. There is a chance that I will take one downstairs - the variegated plants often like to grow in cooler temps.

Sorry for the sporadic blogging, but it's been really busy around this joint lately :-)

And now, back to the cleaning - you can really tell the different between the two I just washed, and the ones below . . . I have my work cut out for me!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Drive By Blogging . . .

There is a lot in my head today. Foremost, I'm really glad it's Friday this week.

This is a picture of me on Cape Cod. I took it of myself. I'm sitting on a wall at the edge of Merkle Beach. It was a windy day (obviously). I have no makeup on at all - just some sunscreen. Every ruddy red patch of my Irish skin . . . the half a dimple that never grew in . . . every wrinkle and freckle and line on my face . . . and my blue and yellow eyes . . . and my mother's nose . . . and my father's bone structure . . . and that goofy smile that everyone in my family smiles . . . and that look on my face that says how lucky I am.

My whole life is there in my face. All of it. Right there. Not nipped. Not tucked. Not erased.

THIS is what life looks like. I invite you to click to biggify and enjoy the roadmap of my life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

There's No Place Like Home . . .

It just rises up off the plains, and it thrills me every time I see it.

I confess that I digitally altered the color and contrast in this photo a bit because it was a hazy day today as I came back from Cape Cod. But do click to biggify - you won't be disappointed.

More later, but I had an awesome vacation - so relaxing that I feel like I was away for a month instead of 10 days. :-)

p.s. to the commentor who asked (on an old post) if I had more information about Dennis Rattin. I'm sorry, but I do not. The links in that post will take you to the information I found. I think it's awesome that you are writing about your family, and I wish you the best of luck in your search for more information.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Cleanup Update

This carload went to the Second Chance Shop yesterday. I know it's kind of hard to see because I covered over the tops of everything with old tablecloths. It was all crystal and glassware and I draped the fabric over it to keep it from clanking around and breaking. I'm happy to say that everything made it there in one piece.

I made it to the post office to send off two boxes with Hull pieces to a dear friend who wanted some before the auction house, a gift to a friend overseas, and another small box to my half-brother in New Mexico. Whew!

Then, a run back home to put the vacuum in the car - that's how much stuff there was, I couldn't fit the Oreck in there in the front seat! Then a trip to Marc Alan (and OMG what's with the girl with her mouth REALLY wide open on their page?!) for a spruce up of my now signature bed-head haircut.

Then home for a quick lunch and then to Second Chance II, where they have more collectibles and such to drop everything off. My mom's old golf clubs, all that stuff that you saw on the dining room table . . . gone - the before/afters are from different sides of the dining room (sorry :-)) and if you click on the photo it will biggify. A stop at the vacuum store to drop off the Oreck, and then I spent the rest of my afternoon visiting my sick Aunt. That sounds fake, doesn't it? But it is, indeed, what I was doing and I was there until about 7:15.

I didn't have to do much in the living room, although there is too much on the mantle at the moment. I did make a decision, however, about the antique quilt I was going to put in the Moroccan corner. It's not going there. There is just too much light that comes in through the shutters on that Southern exposure. I do have a large iron wall mount votive holder from Pottery Barn that will do very nicely there I think.

All that's really left in the upstairs of the house in The Great Cleanup of 2010 is the kitchen and the guest room (still staging a lot of yarn, I'm afraid). And then if I want to do more in the sunroom, but it hasn't been a serious concern because it's been in pretty good shape all along - still, I have culled the CDs and DVDs from in there, and also gone through the drawers there and found a million old cassette tapes. The real ones went to the shop, and the rest went in the trash. No need for them any more - everything's on CD.

In September it's going to be time to hit the basement.

Oh yeah . . .

but in the meantime I'll be continuing to shred paper (I managed to toss all the Christmas cards back to 2008 yesterday morning). I'm hopeful to get the desk in the kitchen figured out. As you can see, it's pretty horrifying.

And, of course, the bar, which is a constant catchall here. . . (sorry about the open trash bin!)

Thankfully it's mostly paper and "stuff." Of course, that's what most of this has been from the beginning :-) I think it will just be a matter of sitting down and seeing what can go, and for the stuff that stays, where it can be put away.

And so, onward . . . :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's All in the Car . . .

Well, almost all ;-)

So shoot me. I adore Clifford Odets, and really, who else but me is ever going to read John Ford? So I just tucked them back on an available shelf. But everything else is in the car. I'm not kidding. I'll take a photo of it on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To Everything, Turn Turn Turn . . .

I went to the Jewel tonight, and then picked up something for dinner, and I caught a glimpse of the moon, which I think is full tonight. It was a huge golden orb, hanging low in the sky, and it was so beautiful that it took my breath away. I hope, wherever you are, you got to see it, too.

Things keep moving out of here.

CDs, mugs (every time I open a cabinet in the kitchen I find something else that can go . . .

My children's books . . . OK, these were kind of hard to let go. But I don't have any children. My cousin K's daughter wanted them so they are not going far :-)

Three more big stacks of regular books. Cookbooks, book books, and a lot of play scripts. In case you're wondering, John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, is a really great play. Disturbing, but great. There was a film made of it in the early 70's that I remember watching in college. Ford was a contemporary of Shakespeare's - when you're a Theatre Major, you read a really lot of plays and a lot of them are historic (yes, I read Tamburlaine the Great, too (Christopher Marlowe), and the plays of Aeschylus and Euripes, as well as Lanford Wilson and Clifford Odets - I liked them all :-) ).

I had a huge collection of scripts, and donated all but that last stack about 6 1/2 years ago. And they've have been a "back shelf" all that time. That last stack was mostly scripts for shows that I was in (no, not Tis Pity She's a Whore - I wasn't in that one :-D). I've never looked at them again . . . and so, even though no one but me would know they were there, they are headed out to the car tomorrow night after work - I'm loading up the car then so at least some of this stuff is out of here so my awesome cleaning lady can actually clean.

Here's K (she's the one who loves the hand knit socks I make for her :-) ) and ME with the latest batch of stuff they took out of here. They came over Monday night and ended up with a small haul, each, as well as taking the children's books. I am always happy to see them.

Both Candy and Michelle commented on how they were not in this place of letting go where I find myself. I've thought a lot about this, and I think it's very individual for each person. They are both at very different stages in their lives than I am. My mom has been gone for six and a half years. I held on to her things that I thought I wanted to keep for all this time. And of course there are still some things of hers that I will keep - and I didn't let go of anything that came from Belfast with my grandmother. I'm not giving away heirlooms - but the truth of this matter is that I have no children to pass things along to - and so if my extended family would like things, I want them to have them.

And somehow I've come to realize that things are just not that important anymore. From the time I was a child, we moved a great deal. I had a group of things that were "my things." They were the only stable thing in each place we went. I spent my youth feeling like a gypsy - I was always the new kid, and it was was never easy - moving just when you thought you might have made some friends. But in each place, I had my things. They were always the same, and I even set them up the same way if I could - they were secure. They didn't change. Somehow they kept me safe.

And so, for a long time I had a serious attachment to things - and the safety I imagined they provided. But now, I'm in the place of letting go. These things no longer serve the purpose they once did, and in my heart I know that many of them will make someone else happy - at least I hope so. As happy and as safe as they did me for the time they were with me.

But my mom is not in her things. My life is not in my possessions. When you hold someone in your heart they are never truly gone, so there, in my heart, is where I hold my mom now. And my own life? I hold it all around me - and it's up to me to live it.

I heard a sermon once, many years ago, that has stayed with me. The gist of it was about living your life and moving forward - and that to do that, you have to have your hands free to catch the awesome stuff that comes to you from On High. Have you ever tried to catch something when your hands were clenched tight holding on to something else? Well, you can't - you have to let go. When you're holding on to the past, your hands (and your heart) are not free to reach out and catch the wonderful things that are coming to you.

I've held that vision in my heart all these years - it's how I know that it's time to let go. I'm not sure what's coming, but I know it's going to be awesome . . .

To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn - and a time to every purpose under heaven . . .

. . . which is why I'm embracing this turn of being in the place of letting go. Your turn will come at some point - and you'll recognize it when it arrives. Trust me - you'll know it.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Garage . . .

Well, I wasn't really sure about doing this today, but I decided that there was no time like the present. The top row is before, and the bottom, after. This photo will biggify if you click on it.

I took two carloads to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore today. The old attic fan, garden pots, old tile, shingles, lava rock - things that they can use and/or resell.

My friend, C, in Denver was the one who suggested them to me. I take so much stuff to the Second Chance Shop, but this was not stuff that they would take in their resale shop. I drove over this morning, and they were quite happy to take the stuff, and told me that they would also take the clay garden pots as long as they were not cracked and even though they were dirty. Wahoo!!!! Gone!

I really need to powerwash the floor, but for now, at least, it's swept and stuff is tossed that could be. On the bottom left photo, in front of my bike, you can see the pile that will be gone come next Saturday. Some will go out on the curb on Thursday night, and the rest will go to Second Chance.

And in the bottom right photo, there is a large box with a red recycle bin on top. I'm going to put that old bin out on Thursday - I have no idea why I have two bins . . . I want to keep the good one and have them take this one back. And in that box are some chain lights for African violets. I no longer have the shelves that can use chain lights, and these have sat in the box, in the garage, since February 2004.

I emailed two friends, gave them a great price, and they have been snapped up. They will go in the back of the car on Thursday, and that big box will go out with the recycling :-)

The Great Cleanup of 2010 continues!!! But not now. Now, I really need a shower. I smell really, really bad. Really. :-D

A Beautiful Day in Michigan . . .

Linda the Chicken Lady, Jamie the Yarnsnob and I boarded the bus to the Michigan Fiber Festival yesterday morning. It was a smaller bus than two years ago; still, it got us there and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I really do enjoy Michigan more than Stitches, and since they were on the same weekend this year, there really was no contest for me.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am in the midst of The Great Cleanup of 2010. This includes yarn and fiber . . . I went to Michigan looking for some specific stuff - a good substitute yarn for Rowan Lightweight DK yarn for the Kaffe Fassett coat I'm wanting to make, beads for the Shipwreck Shawl, and a bead spinner for same. No luck on any of those things.

But I didn't come home empty-handed. You didn't think I would, did you? ;-) I bought a rug-hooking kit and hoop. Michigan is the place were I first got interested in this, but I never bought a kit because they all seemed so complex. But I have my beginner kit from Midwest this year, and so this Monk Santa kit has called to me for a number of years . . . It's going to be pretty kewl looking when it's done. Those bags are the wool strips to use for it.

There are two very small skeins of Blue Moon Fiber Arts handpainted silk roving. The dark one is called Corvid, and the multi one is nameless. I don't really know why I keep buying silk - I'm just determined to be able to spin it (thus far, not very well . . . :-S). So these little treats seemed like good practice for me and they were not expensive. And finally, a little button for the closure on the little bag I wove earlier this summer at Midwest.

Not bad, huh? :-)

I was very tempted by some beautiful wood worked looms, but now is just not the time.

And I managed to FINISH SOMETHING :-D

These are my Watermelon Socks. I started them on my trip to Morocco, and just never got them finished. There wasn't much left, and I was done before we were out of Indiana. They are matchy/matchy until you get to the toe. No idea why that keeps happening :-D This yarn is from Fresh Isle Fibers, in Canada. My friend, Laurie from The Knitting Garden was knitting on a pair of these a few years ago at the first Loopy Ewe Spring Fling, and I just loved them! Unfortunately, getting the yarn is not easy. You have to stalk the woman's website. Still, one day, I managed to get a skein, and now I have watermelon socks. And make no mistake - these are for me. :-D

The day started out rainy, but by the time we got up to Allegan, the weather had cleared, and although it was a little humid, there was no need for hats or umbrellas, and it was cooler than it has been in years past. Still, inside the industrial halls (where the vendors are) it's warm and party fans are the order of the day - both Linda and I have them, and I can't tell you how many people asked me about mine.

Here's a group of us! Jamie, Monique, Mimi, another guild member whose name I neglected to get (sorry!) and Linda. This was just after hot dogs and fries - and the concomitant discussion of what goes on a dog (If you're from Chicago - dogs have pretty much anything you want, EXCEPT ketchup. No ketchup. No. Just not done.) Poor Mimi, we gave her a pretty hard time ;-) - and just before the last look at all the vendors.

The only negative thing I can say about this year's festival was that the tables and seating that used to be in the pavilion (above in the photo) were missing - same thing with the other pavilion where the Guild made us an awesome lunch. I hope they get that figured out for next year.

And now, it's on to my day, which is looking to include the gym, and then the garage . . . film at 11 ;-D

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm There . . .

How do you get to the place where you are ready to let go? I'm not really sure, I just know I'm there.

Lest you think I have been slacking around here - here's my dining room table. Full of stuff that's going to go. I've gone through the top half of the built-in china cabinet and assorted cupboards and shelves in the kitchen. Can anyone tell me why I thought I needed SIXTEEN of those bigass glasses??? They are beautiful, but I discovered that if you fill them too full and are not very careful when drinking, you will be wearing your alcohol/pop/water/whatever rather than drinking it . . . yeah, not so good. Still, they are beautiful and I did buy them at Marshall Field's, so it pains me some to let them go. I kept four - one in each color :-)

I've been doing what I can each evening. It's been slower going, but going it is. I've asked some of my cousins to come over and see if they would like any of this stuff - some of it was my mom's . . . and so next week they will be stopping by if they have an interest.

Like I said I don't quite know how I got here, but here I am.

I have a pretty substantial collection of American Art Pottery, most particularly, Hull. It started with two pieces that were my grandmother's and built from there . . .

I will keep some of these pieces, but I talked to an auction house today. Most of it's going to go (oh - this isn't all of it - this is just the stuff that's in the big china hutch.

So much stuff . . . it's time to let someone else enjoy it. I've enjoyed it all for a long time, and now, I'm at the place of letting go.

It sure is beautiful, isn't it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If it's not One Thing . . .

So. In my travels in and out of the house yesterday, I discovered that a mud dauber wasp had made a nest on my security door. I know these wasps are beneficial because they eat spiders and there are a bazillion spiders around here, but it's a wasp nest. On my FRONT DOOR.

Yeah - no.

So, today I went over to the hardware store and bought some foam and waited until dark to bomb the nest. Here's what it looked like from the inside of the screen door. Both photos are pre-foam. I foamed it from both sides. Tomorrow I'll knock it off the screen somehow.


I took a well-deserved break today - had a great workout at the club, and I even took a nap on the couch! My Moroccan corner in my living room is taking shape, and that makes me happy. There is an antique quilt that is going to go on that naked wall. It's not Moroccan, but it's very beautiful - made by my Great Grandmother. It will be beautiful there. And, I spent some quality time working on a prayer shawl for some friends of mine in Denver.

Dinner - well, I finally had the energy to cook something healthy, which is a relief. This release of old stuff and extra stuff and stuff in general is, as I had hoped, proving to be very beneficial to me in so many areas. As Linda M. mentioned, good karma :-)

I'm not quite ready to pronounce it finished, but I have such a good handle on it. It really is a good feeling. And there are already more bags in the living room, ready for the Second Chance Shop on another Saturday :-) This probably won't be as meaningful to you if you have not been at my house and seen my kitchen junk drawer, and I didn't think it take a before photo. Who knew that they make "Junk Drawer Organizers."


Please tell me that I'm not the only person who has THREE garage door openers for a garage door that doesn't even exist anymore . . . I'm thinking these were a legacy from my late mom and the original garage door on this house.

That means it's been more than six years since I have cleaned out this drawer . . .

We'll see what the week brings. Next weekend I'm heading up to the Michigan Fiber Festival on the Windy City Knitting Guild bus with Linda the Chicken Lady and Yarnsnob Jamie. I'm SURE it's going to be a very fun day :-)

The dryer is buzzing. . .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm so Wiped . . .

It's 10:30

It's been a busy day :-) In addition to the work in the house today, I made it to the Post Office to mail some books off, then to the Second Chance Shop to drop off a carload of stuff, then to K-Mart where I found awesome baskets, then to the credit union to make a deposit, and then to JoAnn Fabrics where I finally got stuffing to stuff the leather pouf I got in Morocco. And then to Burger King, which is so not best for me, but I was really hungry. And then home, and back to the Great Clean Up of 2010.

I found a lot of really interesting stuff . . . including a beautiful Cross pen set, and these. These are my old character shoes and ballet slippers. In another life, I used to work in the theatre. These shoes have seen a lot of time on the boards. I've carried them around with me for about 20 years now even though I haven't worn them in all that time . . . they are so worn and molded to my feet that no one else's feet would ever fit them . . . I sent them to their Great Reward today . . .

And in their honor, I'll take a moment of silence

and let the photos do the talking . . .

OMG - I'm in love with my linen closet :-) Thank you K-Mart for having the perfects baskets. I'm missing a couple of photos, and I'm too wiped to take them now. So - all the stuff is off my bed (really - and it's all either put away, donated, or tossed), and the cedar chest is cleared off. I'm done . . . until tomorrow, when I have to go to the hardware store and get a small teacup hook to hang the mini lantern that is currently resting on the top of the three-level shelf, and a new can of Enforcer. It's foam that you use to spray wasp and yellow-jacket nests. I discovered today that mud wasps are building a mud nest on my security door between the metal and screen. I can't imagine how I didn't see it before now . . . you have to spray in the evening when they are sleeping . . . I'm not too excited about it, but at least the cans have super range. You can spray/shoot from about 20 feet away.

I'm happy with the progress I have made today. My office, the linen closets, my bedroom, the main bathroom, and half the kitchen and half the guest room are done. There's more to do, but I'm thinking about taking a break tomorrow. I think I deserve one!

And Kristi - thanks, I love my lantern and am so excited to have it finally hanging in the living room.

Onward . . . Again. . .

Today, it's my room . . .

This will biggify if you click on it, but it's really embarrassing that I have SO MUCH STUFF.

There's my shelf - more books, and a lot of junk. There's my closet - and I don't even have that much clothing . . . There's the view to my nightstand, and that photo in the bottom corner? That's all the crap that was IN my nightstand (OMG . . . ). Last, there's a view of the top of the cedar chest.

I just loaded up the car - not quite as large a load as two weeks ago. But it's enough - it fills up the entire back of the wagon and some on the back seat. This is a view looking in to the living room, and then looking back out. The pictures and mirrors on the ottoman are staying, as is the blue and gold fabric, but pretty much everything else is in the car.

Wish me well - it's so effing hot here . . . I thought it would cool off when it poured during the Sox game last night (they were ahead when I left at the beginning of what became about an hour and half rain delay - and they won!), but no. It's hot and it's humid, and I'm sweating like a Big Dog. But I soldier on . . . hopefully will have some awesome "after" shots for you for tomorrow :-)

Here's a great thing that happened today:

The electrician brought my Moroccan lantern back. It's electrified now :-) It even has a dimmer in case I ever need any mood lighting ;-D And on my list of errands - right after my drop off at the Second Chance Shop, is a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to see about stuffing for my leather pouf. My Moroccan Corner is coming along!!