Sunday, May 6, 2018


It’s already time for the May Yarn Along.  I’m pretty sure my last post was the April Yarn Along post! 

Since then I finished my basic blue crew neck sweater, and it fits just how I wanted it to!  I’ve been able to wear it twice.  (I wrote before how cold and nasty our spring has been this year.)  I had enough yarn left over to knit our grandson a cable vest which is on the needles now.  It’s my yarn along photo for May.  I’m reading My Life In Stitches: Knitting My Way Through Love, Loss and Laughter by Rachael Herron.  If you’re a knitter, you’ll relate.  It’s funny, touching and sad but always there’s a knitting moment that I recognize I’ve been in myself!

I also had the opportunity to make another doll.  After the younger granddaughters got their dolls for Christmas, my daughter asked if I could make her one too.  She wanted to have one so that she and Sophie would be able to play together.  I wanted her to be Hispanic, although not a Frida doll.  I really love how she turned out.  Now I want to make a Frida doll for myself.

I had written before how our spring had been largely missing in action.  Still, even with the freezing nights, the trees' blossoms made a show and they are beautiful.  Our lilac is just outside the front door and right now I get a whiff with each trip in and out of the house.  The cherries and apple trees look like they will give us a good season, and even the magnolia pulled it off in the end.  Her flowers looked as if at the end of the night she got caught in the rain and their skirts were dragged through the mud ultimately ruining their hems.  But still you could appreciate their beauty.

And now the trees are proof, reminding us that there was indeed a spring. Even though the spring temperatures only lasted about a week and a half.  In true Kansas form we have moved straight to summer with the temperatures reaching the mid to high eighties.  But the summer weather means that the turtles and goldfish moved out to the ponds.  Paul moved them out on a day when Jools and Rowen were here for a sleepover.  Rowen enjoyed keeping the goldfish company while they waited their turn to move.

Yesterday I planted our tomatoes, peppers, and basil.  Today we’re moving out the houseplants and repotting the ones that have been begging for more room.  I love it when the deck becomes an extension of the living room.  This early summer feel is making me want to open the pool.  Somehow I think if we took the plunge temperatures would slip back into the sixties and we would regret the early opening.

Lately, something I’ve been the most passionate about is sketching.  I’ve been participating in the online Sketchbook Revival, twenty artists giving lessons and tips about their sketchbook process. It has been just the kick in the pants I needed.  I have long struggled with sketching, longing for a daily sketching practice.  Being able to sit down, look at something and render a quick sketch that actually looks like on paper what I was looking at in front of me, was something I daydreamed about.  But truthfully, getting past the blank page was a hurdle for me.

One of the artists gave a lesson on making mini sketchbooks, taking drawing paper, tearing and folding it into a continuous book.  I know it sounds silly but Eureka!  I don’t know why it makes a difference but in my brain it does.  I can’t find enough time to spend on drawing.  Last week I drew my coffee, tea or lemon water mug every day.  I’ve done some still lifes, some room views, the other day I even tried drawing the grandchildren playing outside.  I would have never attempted to draw a moving two and four year old before.  I have to say, it’s been a blast.

Finally, the other day driving home I saw yet another abandoned sofa on the side of the road.  Over the years I’ve taken pictures of many of these.  It’s always so sad. But in the spring for reasons I can’t seem to say, I think even more so.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Missing in action

Cloudy, cold, sleet, snow and rain have been the norm for April.  We've had two- maybe three days of spring weather, all during the work weeks.  The cold fronts and storms have been hitting on the weekends.  The last two Sundays we've had snow, (Easter included) and there's a chance for it again this Sunday!  Sadly, the buds on my magnolia took a hard hit and my lettuce has spent more time inside by the door than outside on the deck.  We're all looking forward to warmer weather and summertime, even the deer.

What the weather has provided is lots of time for books and projects.  Paul and I finished one audiobook and started another. I have a small pop-up book collection which includes The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, among others.  But neither of us had read the full book.  So we started listening to it this week.  While we were listening I was staring out the window at the tree line and saw a little splash of color fluttering against the very grey skies.  When I went to check it out I found a paratrooper in his chute hanging from a treetop.  I remembered we had lost one when the grandsons fired some off on July 4th.  Paul rescued him yesterday.

I've made a start on two dolls.  One for my daughter's birthday, and one from Sally Mavor's book.  I've long been a fan of her work.   I'm also currently knitting the second sleeve for a navy crew neck.  I think I will have enough yarn left over to knit a cable vest for one of my grandson's birthday in May.

While spring has mostly been missing in action, yesterday late afternoon the sun broke through, (although storms are forecast for tomorrow).  And though I doubt my tulips will make much of a show after the  brutality they've suffered, the Muscari field has soldiered on! 

(April's Yarn Along: "A Maze Me Poems for Girls" by Naomi Shihab Nye and "The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs" by Tristan Gooley.)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

March For Our Lives

Our day at the March For Our Lives in KC.  My grandson asked, "Grandma, you don't like guns?"  He has two, a water gun and a fart gun.