Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tree damage

That's only from the back door. The front is worse, I can't get out of my driveway because there is a huge tree limb down.

One whole side of my river birch is touching the ground - it looks so odd!!

Oh, it's gonna be a fun day.....NOT!! I can hear the chain saws already.

It's going to go back to being seasonable weather soon, so this all will melt. But the tree trimmer guys and gals will have lots of money coming in over the next few weeks - that's for sure.

Is this all natures way of helping the employment situation?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not even the end of October....

...and we are having a snowstorm.

It's shocking really - a shock to the system. It was beautiful autumn last week, glowing trees, pumpkins, apples, cool nights and warm days.

And then suddenly - boom! Big snowstorm coming thru. Frantically clean up the garden furniture, winterize the outdoor hoses, put everything in the shed ( and then take everything out cause the snowblower is in the back corner, damn it) - clean out the pots of plants, (salvage a rosemary plant) and cut as many hydrangeas as I can - they make beautiful dried flowers.

Dried Hydrangeas make me remember my friend Isabel who died about 13 years ago. Isabel was extremely creative, drew like an angel, embroidered, painted, gardened and read about as much as I did. In the fall , we would make the rounds of the antique stores, who usually had their stores smelling lovely with hot cider bubbling somewhere, and we'd happily look for treasures. Isabel taught me how to dry hydrangeas and other flowers to preserve summer. I miss her something awful around this time of year. I have friends who love me enough to go to antique stores and rummage around with me, but Isabel loved poking in those stores as much as I do. There's a difference.

So - it's back to knitting by the fire with headphones on listening to a book on tape. The electricity has burbled a few times, and since this storm is expected to get worse, we also spent the day doing laundry, and filling the bathtub for extra water (we have a well...which uses an electric pump). At our old house we had an old old outhouse, which was a comforting thought in times of power outage.

I keep hearing big crashing noises in the woods, tree limbs crashing down I'm sure. I expect we'll hear them all night, and as long as they don't crash down on my house, it's OK.

I hope you are warm and cozy on this chilly winter ( I can't believe I wrote that) night.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Animal Wednesday - odd fish item

Seen at a Sarasota Craft Fair. Very odd, not particularly comfortable and I felt like I was sitting on a fish filet.

I have been under the weather with a sinus infection and a tummy bug, so forgive my absence. The sinus infection is persistent and very painful at times...other times it's fine. Go figure. The tummy bug came and went. At the same time I am reading this book and it's all about Cholera. So of course - with a tummy bug - I imagine we are in the middle ages...and I've got the dreaded Cholera - and woe betide to all man and women - kind. Sometimes it would be easier to not have such an active imagination.

The good side of being UTW is the chance to sit and knit. I have three UFO's ongoing - two from this book and, one from here (I bought the pattern) and am making one for a friend at work. The first book's patterns are ultra easy, mostly squares with sleeves - it's the yarns that make the projects work. The cowl is super easy also - I made one for a woman at work last year and she wears it all the time.

Have a Happy Animal Wednesday and feel good!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I love the word Autumn, and all the colors associated with Autumn. Golds, and burnt orange, yellow and deep red.

Truly my favorite season. I love the cool mornings and breezy nights, with the perfect sleeping weather. I love my fall quilt and snuggle so comfortably at night.

This is the view from my kitchen window, I like seeing the still blooming hibiscus against the dropped leaves and maple tree.

I know winter is coming and am actually looking forward to some possible down time, with time to read in front of the fire and work on art in my basement studio. Listening to a book and knitting in front of the fire is luxury living as far as I'm concerned. I don't like nasty weather, but I love and always look forward to a snowy day where I can stay home, nest and watch the snow fall.

Do you love autumn?

I do.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Animal Wednesday - it's SCRUFFY!!!

Scruffy was so happy to see me when I got to Mom's house, he wiggled faster than I could take pictures...and brought me all his toys for a good game of "fetch".
His coat is growing out from his "puppy cut" but we both felt that he didn't really need a grooming for a few weeks, the long hair look suits him.

It's hard to take a picture of him...he moves too fast and is always interested in seeing something new...but occasionally I get a cute shot.

He's a cute little doggie, and very smart really! His only issue is continued bladder infections and he is on antibiotics very frequently. Perhaps cranberries would help? I don't know if that works for dogs. But I do know someone (yet to be named) who is going to work at a new job at a vet's practice and maybe she can give me some advice.

Scruffy is one of those dogs who looks suspiciously at packed suitcases, so as I was leaving I got the sad dog look and he wanted to climb into my lab for a final snuggle. We took him in the car when mom drove me to the airport, and he was great until we started driving in front of the terminal - then he started crying and whining. He was NOT happy when I left, but I think he'll be just fine.

My cousin found Scruffs at a shelter when she went to get a dog for herself. I would never have done what she did - pick up a dog and bring it to my aunt on "approval". Obviously it's worked out well, but I just would never have the chutzpah (guts) to do that. I admire my cousin for doing this even tho I was mad at her in the beginning - he's a godsend to mom who adores him and adores having something to dote on. I do think that I'm going to hire a dog walker for late night walks - watching my 87 year old mom out at night with a flashlight and a baggie was a bit disconcerting. Other than that...they are a happy couple.

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Opera and Wool

One of the reasons Mom was so excited when I said I was coming down for the weekend is that she had tickets to the movie-opera and her friend couldn't go that day. Now the facts are that I don't like watching Opera (sorry Robin) - as it puts me to sleep and I don't understand it and my mom used to sing aria's after we went to bed as kids and they put me to sleep..and I once watched her in an opera when I was about 4 (Tosca) and she JUMPED off the building at the end - out of sight - and I was a bit shocked.

So...part of me wanted to say "nah - I don't want to go" but the kinder side of me said "sure". Mom adores opera, and was so pleased to have someone to go with.

This opera is a live movie feed from the Met in NYC and it was GREAT! I can't get over the fact that I enjoyed it so much, but you got to see the costumes up close, and the expressions on everyone's face and the scenery details. And there were interviews with the principles and conductor - and it had you knew what was going on.

We saw "Anna Bolena" and of course, it's a tragic story how ever you see it. Most of what I don't like about opera is that it's all tragic, and suicide and killing plus not understanding what was really going on! But I was very pleasantly surprised to see and enjoy this movie - gave a whole new dimension for me. I did take a little nap (well, I did get up at 3:00 am to catch an early flight to florida) but most of it I watched. So...I might just go again.

During intermission I pulled out my knitting and clattered away. I'm working on a sweater with a wonderful cranberry colored wool, and it's all garter stitch and box stitch, so it has heft and body. I'm only 1/4 of the way thru the back, but I love the feel of it, and it's on my favorite needles.
Pretty good I'm crashing and going to bed.

Friday, October 14, 2011


I am off to Florida to see Scruffy Mom. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Animal Wednesday - on Thursday (cause it was a funny week)

Since I thought Wednesday was really Tuesday this week, I apologise for not keeping up with Animal Wednesday. (we had a monday holiday to honor that great Italian - Christofer Columbus).

So here is an ADORABLE dog video. You'll LOVE it.

Happy Animal Wednesday!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Six Word Saturday - and other topics

Light develops
things become clearer

I love the first shot here, with the grainyness of a mirage.

I never thought I'd be yearning for the fall-back time change, but I really want that early morning light for my walks - altho it was only 34 degrees on Friday morning. I do hate leaving work in the dark, but I'm so hooked on sunrise.....

This weekend we expect 80 degree weather - so go figure. The weather has been odd...a few weeks ago we were bike riding and it was about 45 degrees and we mournfully said "this might be our last ride" yet today I am laying out my shorts and tee shirts for a ride. And Rosh Hoshanna was a rainy day - which is very unusual. My aunt remembers only 5 rainy Rosh H days in her life, and she's in her 70's.

Speaking of RH - we went to my cousins house and got to give the newly knitted stuff to the new adorable baby.

The parents were stunned! We're not a family known for giving home made gifts - so these were very appreciated.

My cousin and her new granddaughter - she's still in shock at her good luck and happiness.

DH and I with Julia - she was a delicious baby and spent hours in my arms. (there's another story there that I'll tell at a later day - about arms)

Julia in the pink knitted hat which went with this sweater.

I was worried about this purple hat fitting her - but we got it on....

And finally, my uncle performing the blessing. We had a full house of cousins and it was delightful.

I hope it's a happy and healthy new year for everyone.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Animal Wednesday - Hummingbird nest and nesty art

My friend Grapes has a ton of hummingbirds at her place, I love to watch them hovering around the feeder. Recently someone showed me a hummingbird nest - which was amazing. Tiny and perfect. I just can't imagine how cozy the babies birds would have been.

In my Friday night sculpting class, one of the potential projects was to take something ordinary and turn it into something else...or use it in a project. I started thinking of bowls (no surprise there) and - based on the recent view of the Hummer nest - the idea of bowl/nests got me thinking. I started out with looking for cast off items, or things that I just had hanging around. Found some flat wood pieces and some old computer wire. I stripped the wire from it's plastic covering and stained the wood and made (what I consider) a basket/nest.

This one is about 8 inches high, and has paper on the bottom of the wood staves (I think they are called staves) - is woven with the wire and has paper inside and a metal nest with wire wrapped paperclay eggs.

The second one is much smaller, with a paperclay bowl formed over a lightbulb, then the wood is inserted and everything is left to dry. I sealed the paperclay, stained it and wove beading wire in and around the wood. I'm making a little paperclay cap for the overall item, and am going to paint the inside somehow.

I don't know if showing arty-nests really constitutes an Animal Wednesday, but since I can make up the rules...I'm saying it counts.

Have a Happy Animal Wednesday!!