Thursday, April 27, 2017

Where Did April Go?

April has flown by all too quickly!  First we were gone, and then when we came back home, we were busy catching up.  We spent the early part of the month in the Midwest visiting our older daughter and family. Our days there were filled with the kids' activities, including a swim awards program, and a couple of school visits as well as lots of chatting and hugs. After all these years, and on a lovely spring day, we went into the city of Chicago and finally saw "The Bean."

Millennium Park is huge, and we only saw a little bit of it.  The kids had a great time at the play area, and we enjoyed watching them have fun as well as a great lunch afterwards.

We got back home here just in time to celebrate Easter with our other daughter's extended family.  The Littles found lots of eggs with the help of their older cousins.

They also like to explore their own yard!

Speaking of yards, ours is full of blooming plants at the moment:

These three are about done now, but the ones below are just starting to shine.

And not to be out done, the indoor hibiscus surprised me with a flower this week and even a couple more buds! 

You may have noticed lots of  unraked leaves in some of the photos.  Our recent rains have made getting out to rake a less than desirable option. (We have had the most rain ever here since they probably started keeping track in 1895!)  Mocha and Ginger don't care about the weather though.  As long as they can find a register to sleep/lie on, they are happy.

Oh, and I have finished a couple of projects, but they are drying now and will have to wait till another post.  Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Florida Photos as Promised

During the first part of March we spent ten days in Florida for another "sun fix".  We had a great time, too, visiting friends and relatives all over the place, including Dee and her husband who kindly met us in Daytona Beach, not too far from one of DH's cousins in New Symerna.  Sadly we didn't take any people photos, but we did get a few nature ones.

Some kind of turtle

Moor Hen

Different shots of what I think is  an anhinga

Sandhill Crane (about 4 feet tall) 

Our hotel was down the road from the race track, and amazingly we got a nice room in a hotel nearby because it happened to be the week between two big races.  Who knew?

There's lots to see and do in this interesting state which is good because it's about as far away from here as you can possible get and still be in the continental US.  Nice people, too!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Where Have I Been?

Right after we got back from Florida, our choir began the final weeks of preparation for our concert last night.  We sang Mozart's Ave Verum and his final work, the Requiem.  The wonderful soprano soloist sang his Exultate and the orchestra opened the program playing his Sonata in C.  It was a wonderfully uplifting evening, but boy are we tired today. (There's a photo on our Facebook page.)  In the meanwhile, I did finish a couple of projects recently.

The Crazy socks are DONE!  It was probably the most complicated sock I have ever made with lots of unusual stitches and direction changes.  The cuffs were knit sideways and then seamed with a modified 3-needle bind-off.  All those direction changes made for a very interesting sole, and the "thing" in the gusset is on both socks and supposed to resemble a butterfly.  I started this project with a plain color yarn which was splitting badly so reverted to this choice which I thought was a tonal but became quite stripy. A plain color would have shown the different stitch patterns better, but this yarn made for a very fun sole.

My hair stylist is soon having her first baby, a girl.  Her color scheme includes lavender, so I made a pair of booties to welcome baby.  (They look blue in this photo though.💜)

As soon as our youngest GD saw her brother's zebra slippers, she asked for a pair.  How could I resist such a sweet request?  The first thing she said when I handed them to her was, "Do they have my name on them?"  That they do, and they even fit!

Just the other day I remembered a promise made last fall to make a pillow for my oldest GD using her latest completed embroidery.  Since we are headed that way soon, I thought I'd better get busy and here it is, ready to hand deliver.  If you click on the photo, you may be better able to see the chicken button.

Those are supposedly Bohemian chickens!?

 So know you know where I have been!  Hope you've had a good several weeks.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Back Home in the Rain ~and a Tiny Bit of Sun

We have been gone and with no way of posting, but now we are back home. I finally finished a pair of embroidered socks!  It was last year's mystery sock from the Knitters Brewing Company.

It's a fairly complex pattern, so I didn't want to overdo it with so much embroidery that you couldn't see the cabling.

 I also finished a scarf and a pair of booties.  Right now I'm trying to finish this year's KBC mystery sock which is based on crazy quilting. Can you imagine that?

Have a good week!  I'll be back with some pictures from our Florida trip.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

More Fun in the Sun

On this chilly afternoon I've been looking at some more  photos from our recent trip to Arizona and remembering the warm, sunny days.  We spent an interesting afternoon exploring Montezuma's Castle National Monument, trying to imagine what it must have been like to live in this dwelling. Can you imagine climbing the ladder to get up here and trying to carry anything?  

Have you ever tried to grind wheat? Or Corn?

On the way back to Phoenix, we drove to Sedona and then through the Oak Creek Canyon where we spotted this waterfall. There was lots of snow in Flagstaff.

My sister and brother-in-law took us to Madera Canyon for a pleasant hike along the river. (This is also where we saw all those birds.)

The bark on this Alligator Juniper fascinated me.

We enjoyed relaxing and visiting with friends and relatives and also looked forward to the beautiful sunsets and starry skies at night.

And just before leaving the area, we drove to Taliesin West but didn't have time for a tour. Next time maybe?

On the way to the airport, we saw a first, this cell tower disguised as a palm tree.  I guess you'd not have to water it!  And yes, I did a little knitting, too.

When I saw this Daisy Stitch in a couple of patterns, I just had to give it a try. Both sides are interesting.  Soon I will try the mitts pattern where I saw it first.

The blue one is one of my go-to patterns, Grandma's Favorite.  I have another favorite started with the leftovers: the Almost Lost Dishcloth. Both are fun to do.

I haven't finished any projects lately except for these two dishcloths, but I have been working on some socks that I hope will one day be finished.  Stay tuned for that event!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Snow Here but Not There........

We've been back home for a couple of days and have enjoyed watching the snow melt. Here's what it looked like here last Monday when the schools closed for two days. (And thanks to our son for the photos!)

The railing on our front deck.

The plum tree in our front yard.  Fortunately it is staked!

This is the bird feeder hanging outside the window in the family room.

Meanwhile, this is the view from the back patio where my sister and brother-in-law are staying in Green Valley, Arizona.  We were there, too, enjoying the sunset.  We had just returned from a delightful hike in Madera Canyon and also saw this bird feeder.

Now we know why we never seen any of our state birds in our backyard.  They are all wintering in Arizona in Madera Canyon! (They don't like our yard in the summer either.)

I counted at least 12 wild turkeys there, too.

and Mexican Blue Jays filling their tummies

along with one very happy humming bird!

One afternoon, I was sitting on my sister's patio when I heard a snuffling sound and expected to see someone's dog.  Instead what should appear but this javelina, and in broad daylight no less.  As soon as I noticed him (?), he went down into the nearby canyon, but just as I was telling my husband what I'd seen, the little guy returned.  Thus, the photo! That's just a bit of our Arizona adventure.  More soon, but not much knitting has been accomplished recently.