Thursday, February 28, 2013

59:365 Chard!

It's not a particularly interesting photo, but it's one of the few vegetables that I actually really, really like :-D I was washing and prepping two bunches of it so it will be ready for me to saute in the mornings with some red onion. The best in a flat omelette with some feta or chevres cheese. Yum!

58:365 Into the Clouds . . .

B&W seemed to be ideal for this - another cloudy and gloomy day in Chicagoland. That's the Aon Tower reaching for the clouds, with 2 Prudential in front of it.

57:365 A Winter's Day . . .

It's not a deep and dark December, rather a cloudy and gloomy February - with the promise of spring in those buds . . .

And really - a guitar and two voices.  No lipsync, no autotune . . .


Monday, February 25, 2013

56:365 Full Moon

I don't think I need to say anything else . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2013

55:365 Early Morning

Try as I might, I couldn't sleep in this morning. The sun was just coming through the trees when I took this shot.

54:365 A Surprise . . .


I forgot that I put this here for safekeeping. A claymore, and a lantern . . . and it's very, very late and although I filmed all day, I realized I didn't have a photo - and so here it is, with 35 minutes to spare.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

53:365 Winter's Tale . . .

Up very early - my street in the snow.

Friday, February 22, 2013

52:365 Am I a Baker?

This is the book that The Proverbial Knitter says will make a huge change in my life! I have been wanting to make my own bread for some time. Unfortunately, I haven't actually made a yeast bread since I was in Home Ec in Jr. High School, and that was a really long time ago :-D

I've been avoiding heavily processed foods for awhile and making my own whole wheat bread seems to be the solution to having some once in awhile. At least I'll know what's in it and it won't be full of chemicals.  Whole wheat - and I have a friend who grinds her own spelt flour and she's offered me some of that, too.  Probably time to take her up on it  :-)

I've talked here before about wanted to do this, Could it have really been THREE YEARS AGO?!?!?!?!?!  Apparently I wasn't willing to do the work it takes to succeed back then . . .

Am now  :-)

Wish me luck!

51:365 Against the Fence . . .


Somehow, I managed to fall into bed this day without having taken a photo. This one is from Thursday, but I'm sharing it here for Wednesday. Taken on my way to the train.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

50:365 Tall Grass Waves in the Wind . . .


So very cold this morning.

So many years ago . . .


Popcorn . . .

What do you want?
How bad do you want it?
What are you willing to do to get it?

This is an old mantra of mine, and it blasted back into my head this morning. I’ve realized that for the past few months, I have been stumbling over the last piece. I’ve been talking a good game, but I haven’t been willing to put in the work to truly succeed. Oh, I do great for about two weeks, and then, when the rubber hits the road, I fall over into the ditch.

I came to this moment of clarity while watching an old episode of Star Trek: TNG while walking on the treadmill this morning. Really? Star Trek? Really?? It’s crazy, but there it is – I can’t tell you how many moments of clarity I have had while watching telly.

So, what does this mean? Well, I’m not getting any smaller and there’s no good reason for it other than that I’m not taking good care of myself. I’m hibernating at home and rarely going anywhere except to work. It’s a chore to even go grocery shopping. I’m not cooking, just eating whatever I can find around the house, and I’m not taking my lunch with me to work.

Popcorn. When one of my cousins was little, she had a doll and she named her Baby Popcorn. She carried Baby Popcorn with her everywhere. I have no idea why. No one did. :-D But I thought of her recently because I’ve been eating a lot of popcorn. You don't really have to cook popcorn, you just have to have a popper.  Popcorn. I’ve been eating it for dinner. Popcorn for dinner is not functional, particularly as I like to put butter and salt on it. Yeah – not working for me, so I dumped all the popcorn out on Sunday. Woman cannot live by popcorn alone. Peanut butter. Yeah, that’s gone, too. Sugar and some highly processed foods have crept back into my routine. Anyone know a good source for whole wheat (not whole grain, whole wheat) lasagna noodles? I don’t want to make it anymore with regular lasagna noodles because it seems that when I do eat processed stuff (regular pasta falls into that category for me) or sugar, it starts a snowball effect that I'm not able to manage well.

It’s time to look at the schedule and make some adjustments. I mean, this crap has to stop – sugar makes me hurt. It doesn’t matter what kind it is (I flirted with raw honey for a couple of weeks – it makes me hurt). I had fallen out of my morning walking routine and thankfully got that started back up yesterday, and my WW food week resets on Thursday. Cooking and freezing loom (not looms  :-D ) on the horizon – so does making my own bread (not so processed – cross your fingers). 

I've been talking about this with a friend of mine - we both have Fitbit monitors and love them - and it's really been helping me to have some friends on there where we can encourage each other to be more active.

Anyway – I was watching Jillian Michaels scream on The Biggest Loser last night, and while everyone else was thinking she was a maniac (she was wailing like a banshee), I was thinking that a lot of the contestants this season want results without doing the work . . . and then I was sweating on the treadmill this morning, watching Jean Luc Picard in an alternate reality being told that he always had lofty goals but he just wasn’t willing to put in the work it took to achieve them.

Hello? Anyone?? Bueller???

Stay tuned, I’m adjusting my attitude and relanguaging my intentions – I’ll let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

This and That . . .

So I gave up Facebook for Lent.

You cannot imagine how much more time I have in just six days.  I guess I didn't realize what a time suck it truly is. 

I gave up my personal Facebook - I still post for All About African Violets on Sundays, and it was very hard to go on yesterday and not look at the wall  :-D  But I did it - went right to the podcast page and posted what I needed to there, and then to my personal page - bypassing the wall completely - to post the link there, and then out!  Yay Me!

And did you watch Downton Abbey last night?  I already knew what was going to happen (because I couldn't stand the wait any longer and went out online to a British site and read all the episode recaps in January  :-D  I don't really mind being spoiled, I guess) and still . . .  And now we have to wait a YEAR for the next season.  Dammit.

I took a tumble on the ice last Monday.  Black ice - right in front of the house.  If anyone was watching, I'm sure I looked like a cartoon character trying to keep my balance.  But down I went.  Thankfully - because I am so lucky  :-) - I landed on all fours, effectively spreading the impact throughout my body.  The doc told me that had I landed fully on one hand that I sure would have broken or fractured it.  As it was, I was in a brace and a sling (for walking around) for five days.  That was enough.  Hand still a bit sore, and I can see the deep bruise in it, but it's well on its way :-)  Learned again that physical pain is a food trigger . . .   Dammit.

I have too many African violets . . .  :-D

As you probably saw yesterday, another loom is here in my house.  I had better pay really good attention at class in a few weeks  :-D  This one needs a lot of cleanup - way more than the other two did, and because it's at least 50 years old, it's going to be a lot more challenging than either of the other two.  Should be an interesting experiment.

Here comes the sun - time to get cracking!

p.s.  I wrote this this morning at 7 a.m. - guess I clicked "save" instead of "publish."  :-D

49:365 The Way Home . . .


I take the train into the city every day. This is one of the "new" cars. Today was a holiday for many, and so the train was pretty much empty when I got on to come home. That hardly ever happens!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

48:365 Heddles and Rust . . .


An older (more than 50 years), neglected, 2-harness table loom arrived at my house yesterday.  I have no idea if it can be cleaned up and put to rights yet . . . but the challenge is there.  :-)  Not a particularly interesting photo, I'm sure, to anyone but me  :-)
For someone who doesn't weave very well yet, this is my THIRD loom. I am asking around to a few people I know who are knowledgeable in this area, and I have also posted it on Ravelry to see if anyone can identify it. This one belonged to my cousin’s husband’s late mom. I believe it to be circa the late 1950s based on the pattern book that was with it (a Lily book for 2-harness looms with a copyright of 1960).
It’s sweet - and very lightweight. There is no maker mark anywhere that I have found. It’s filthy and has some mildew on it, many of the screws/bolts are rusted, and as you can see from the photos below, it’s not currently in good working order. It’s 20” wide, 19” long, 16” tall. It’s possible that it might have been a kit of some sort.
Any ideas, anyone? And any ideas about cleaning it up? I know it’s not likely to be any great shakes, but even if I just clean it up to have in the living room, it would be nice to make it at least look happy again :-)
Here are some more photos, and here is a link to the full Flickr set, if you are interested.

Full view:

Lily_Full Virew 01

Heddles and bent/out of kilter heddle bars:

Lily_Back 02

From the back:

Lily_Full Virew 03

Another view from the back (and yeah, that's the Louet Kombo in the background :-D:

Lily_Full Virew 02

Harnesses and heddles from the back:

Lily_Back 01

Any ideas, anyone?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

47:365 Beads . . .

Today I went to a bead show. These are tourmaline. I didn't buy any because as a semi-precious stone they were a little spendy for a string, but man, those are my colors! It was interesting to go and was my Artist Date for the week.   I did come home with some seed beads and some metal work pieces, but I was restrained.  Really  :-)

Friday, February 15, 2013

46:365 Reaching for the Sky


The dark building is the Richard J. Daley Center (formerly the Civic Center), and the light one is the Chicago Title building. This really is the City of the Big Shoulders . . . :-) There's a little bit of blue sky up there. Yay! Taken on my way to the train on my way home. Spring is coming - it's not dark at all now when I leave work. Double Yay!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

45:365 Episcia Pink Acajou

This is an epicia. It is a cousin of the African violet - both are in the gesneriad family. It's not at its best, as it likes much warmer temps than are usual in my house at this time of year. Even so, it's hanging in, and I'm hoping it will keep growing. It's a little pink for Valentine's Day :-)

44:365 The Bean!

This is the view from my Dentist's office :-D The blue bit on the left is the Pritzger Pavillion. You can see the night skyline reflected in The Bean (it's official name is Cloud Gate, but no one calls it that (to the consternation of the artist :-D )).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

43:365 Grape Glory

That's the name of this African violet. This one is new to me and I let it come into bloom to make sure it was blooming true to its description. It is, although the dots of red are not mentioned - the camera sees them, but they are not particularly visible to the naked eye. At any rate, it's quite a stunner, isn't it? :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

42:365 Progress . . .


This photo was the only one I took yesterday - It's the first shoulder of my St. Brigid.  The yarn is Queensland Kathmandu Aran, which has both cashmere and silk in it - a wonderful yarn to work with. This is the second sweater I've knit with it.

I'm grateful I took this photo early in the day, even though it's not particularly artistic or interesting - I fell on the ice yesterday and ended up spending my evening at urgent care making sure my hand was not fractured. I never got any other shots taken.  
It's only a bad sprain - as usual, I am so lucky  :-)  I slipped on some black ice, and when I went down, it was on all fours.  Because my knees and both hands took the fall, the impact was spread through my body.  Had I fallen on just the one hand, I surely would have a fractured bone.  It's a little sore, and I've got a brace and a sling for about a week.  I can do that  :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

41:365 Color in February . . .


I love seeing these plants in bloom in my sunroom at this gloomy time of year. Two columneas (sometimes called "flying fish plants") and a streptocarpus - both cousins of the African violet :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

40:365 Button, Button . . .

The yarn store I frequent always has amazing antique buttons.

39:365 Coexist . . .

I love this and have seen it as a bumper sticker, too. These bags were at the sidewalk sale.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

38:365 Otherwordly Orb . . .

OK - it's a pole light :-D I didn't actually plan to have it in the middle of my photo, but it was early in the day and, clearly, I wasn't paying much attention. Still, it's kind of interesting - and this was the only photo I took today. This is in the Thompson Center - they are having an early Valentine indoor sidewalk sale.

37:365 On the Pond . . .

These Canada Geese hang out on the retention pond that I see every morning from the train platform. I guess goose down really is warm - otherwise how could they sleep with their little duck butts on the snow-covered ice?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

36:365 A Winter's Tale . . .


On the bottom of a piece of the Thompson Center, across the street is the City and County Building.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

35:365 Getting to Know You . . .


Someone fixed the old clock on the Argo Tea building.  It used to chime about 5 minutes past the hour.  Now, it plays show tunes.  Seriously  :-D  Yesterday it was "Getting to Know You," from South Pacific, and "Oklahoma," from the show of the same name  :-D  I have never seen the doors open before this year - it looks like a king figurine in there - I haven't seen it move, but it might - I'm never there in time to see it start, only end. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

34:365 Mohawk :-D

The snow this morning was light and airy like cotton candy. Still had to clear the driveway again, though :-) This is the old goose on my porch sporting a new hairdo.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

33:365 Pieces of the Past . . .


The dog on the far right and the carved wooden curio cabinet came with my my family from Belfast in 1921. I don't remember a time when this was not a part of our decor.

Friday, February 1, 2013

32:365 Babies . . .

This a tray of African violet leaves that have sprouted. I'll be separating them and potting up babies tomorrow!