Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday Felines

What better place to nap than a newly finished shawl?

Monday, August 5, 2019

Catching Up!

Well, the rest of July disappeared in a flash!  We  had a wonderful week-long family gathering in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and then company from Colorado.  And now it's August. Wow!

Twenty-three of us from my sister's and our families were together and had so much fun playing, talking, and catching up. With the exception of an incredible windstorm, the weather was perfect and everyone enjoyed the sunshine and water activities.

Then at the end of July we had visitors from Colorado. Nancy and I taught together in California many years ago, and our two families have stayed in touch every since then.

With lots of car time, I finished a couple of projects, this shawl and this scarf. The scarf is Valerie Johnson's "Going My Way" pattern. Isn't it pretty?

Before all the end-of-July excitement, I also finished my contribution to our quilt group's Ronald McDonald Christmas stocking project.

Both sides of the same two stockings

And now I'm going to go eat breakfast and then go outside to water the flower pots.  Hopefully I can also get caught up on my blog reading!!  Have a great week.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Rainy July~~~~

So far with the exception of the Fourth, we've had some rainy days, but the plants just love it.

This Rocket Hydrangea was one of two table decorations that have survived in our garden since I retired some time ago. (I think a few others were devoured by local deer.) Anyhow, I look forward to their blooming each year as they bring back fond memories of my years of work in adult literacy.

Have you ever seen a Monkey Tree?  They seem to appear fairly often in landscaping around here, but we had never seen one in bloom before. We spent an afternoon in Gig Harbor, WA, recently and discovered this one after visiting one of my favorite yarn shops, Rainy Day Yarns.

Here are two close-ups of the tree's leaves and blossoms.

Can you guess what this is?

If you guessed baby spiders, you're right!  We found this group of eggs on the window near our front door, not knowing for sure whether or what would hatch.  Well, hatch they did, and while we were gone to Newport, they all took off to do their spiderly business...catching flies and mosquitoes, I hope.

In case you're worried that I've not been knitting, here's proof that my needles and I are still busy.  Actually, I finished this Stella Shawl at the end of June and forgot to include it in my last post. (A couple of other things are on my needles now and will hopefully be done by the end of the month.) Here's the link to the sock pattern that also wasn't in my last post.  That's all for now, have a great week.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Finally a New Post!

June disappeared at warp speed! We were very busy with lots of celebrations.  Early in the month our choir sang for the last time with our much-loved long time director.  We sang a wonderful work by Dan Forrest that features Psalm 100 in seven languages. You can listen here if you wish. 

We also managed a couple quick trips.  We spent a weekend in Whistler, British Columbia, and did lots of walking.

We followed a trail to Lost Lake and discovered that we could have driven there as well. However, we would have missed seeing this interesting cairn as well as lots of beautiful wildflowers.

 A bit later in the month we headed south to Newport, Oregon. The coast is so different there with lots and lots on sand dunes to explore.

Little Creek Cove is one of our favorite spots to stay.

These dogs didn't think twice about crossing this little creek to get to the dunes and ocean.  We, however, drove to Agate Beach and then walked north.

Time in the car makes for lots of knitting and two more Interrupted Cowls.  A shawl 
for Stella also popped off the needles.

This pair of socks was my June Camp Loopy project.

Our daughter hosted a lovely brunch at a very nice restaurant to celebrate my birthday, our son's birthday and Father's Day and then one day at lunch this guy showed up in our backyard.  Apparently he though he'd been summoned to prune the roses?

Hope you're all having a wonderful Fourth of July celebration!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Have a Nice Memorial Day!

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae  (More about the author here.)  Listen to our choir sing "Battle Hymn of the Republic".

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Crazy May! It's Almost Memorial Day!

Wow, here it is past mid-May already and my last post was just before Easter week.  As it turned out neither of us did any singing then because we were down with colds for the first time in ages. Since then it's been busy here with lots of gardening when the sun's been shining, and lots of choir rehearsals.  Our church choir director is retiring very soon and so, after last Sunday, we have only two more times to sing under his direction. Last Sunday was a Choir Festival with all of the choirs participating in a wonderful song called "Hope for Resolution."  Have a listen, we were singing in Zulu!  Our last Worship through Music in on June 9th when we will sing "Jubilate Deo" by Dan Forrest and will be streamed live.

I finally finished a quilt!  Our younger daughter had this painting "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt hanging on her living room wall, so when I saw the reproduction on fabric at Center Diamond Quilt Shop, I knew what I needed to do. (Now if I could just get inspired to put the bindings on the ones that are waiting in line for me to finish them!)

I fell in love with the back fabric, and you can also see polka dot binding.

Just yesterday I finished this pair of socks. It took 3 tries for me to decide they just needed to be plain vanilla ones.

On a non-choir Sunday recently we did manage a get away with our friend Dianne to our favorite spot at Cannon Beach, Oregon.  We walked to Haystack Rock at low tide 

and also saw lots of birds, including this plover.

In between rainy spells we've been working in the yard. This is actually an azalea "tree" that our son gave me several years ago. It does itself proud every spring.

This camellia  has been in our yard for many years, but it wasn't until this spring that a friend pointed out that its petals are offset. Isn't that interesting?

The Bleeding Heart is one of my favorite spring flowers, and this year our little plant has outdone itself.  Now DH tells me it's time to take a walk so I will sign off with a wish for all of you: Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Finally a Post and Some Finishes Also

Happy April!  I sure don't know what happened to the rest of March, but we've had some busy days so far this month.  Lots of choir singing is coming up this week, that's for sure.

Even though it's spring,  a cowl can come in handy as it's been cool and rainy here.  I gave this one to a friend.  It's another Interrupted Cowl with a different shade of Bamboozle called Inferno.

Two sets of our friends gained another grandchild late in March, and so I whipped up some booties. Thankfully I had some Plymouth Angora on hand in the right colors!

For almost six weeks I've been working on this shawl that I started long ago. It's probably the most complicated thing I've ever made.  First you knit the edging. Then starting in the middle of the edging you begin the rest of it, using short rows to attach the rest of it which is knitted from the bottom up.  Believe me it's easy to get off between the lace and the chart!  And lots of "tinking" happened in the process.  At the moment it's being blocked, but the photo was taken before I did that. Yippee, it's finally done and I'm keeping it!

All the leave you see in these two photos have been raked up on the few sunny days in March and most of these flowers are done already.

These favorites though are out now and will soon be joined by azaleas, rhododendrons, and camellias.  Oh, how I love spring in the Pacific Northwest!

If you celebrate Easter, I hope you have a happy one!  And a Happy Spring to everyone!

Monday, March 11, 2019

First March Finish and Trip Photos

We really enjoyed our CA/AZ trip so much that we don't have any photos from the AZ part! However, we did get some photos in CA.

We hiked around a small lake in the Yorba Linda Recreation area and saw this turtle soaking up the sun.

Apparently, the ducks were more interested in the bottom of the lake.

Part way around the lake we discovered this little pond complete with 2 egrets (thanks, Dee), 1 great blue heron and another smaller turtle.  We also were greeted by several pretty squirrels that were hoping for a treat.

Just outside San Diego we took another hike in the Torrey Pines Natural Reserve. We also saw some hikers who were more ambitious than we were.

Why didn't I wear a short-sleeved shirt?

The trail to Razor Point went pretty much straight up which is not our thing.

Later that day we stopped at a rest stop where there was a sign warning of poisonous snakes and insects, but we didn't encounter any, thankfully!

Then we stopped for gas and thought we might have been affected by the heat.  Yep, there were quite a few dinosaurs by the gas pumps.

In addition to seeing the sights, we visited friends and relatives. I guess we got so busy chatting that we failed to take any more photos.  However, I did find one photo online of an amazing bird we saw on a hike with my sister and her husband.  We were told that this Elegant Trogon, a native of Mexico and Guatemala, also lives in Madera Canyon.

And here's my finish, another Interrupted Cowl, this time in Bamboozle, which is similar to Bamboo Bloom.  The color is Lagoon, but I would call it Southwestern Sunset and here's why!

Have a great week!