Beating the Heat?


This is why we go to the beach off-season!

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday!  Given the first heat wave of the summer, we are varying our walking schedule to make it happen.  Some of you may not know that Basset Hounds are double-coated.   That means Sis has a fine, downy undercoat and a coarse outer layer to protect her from briars as she hunts rabbits.  You know… in theory… as the breed was designed for a specific task years ago.

My body is also requesting more yoga and less pavement pounding anyway, so… good timing, Mother Nature.   Do you have a favorite yoga, pilates, stretching resource to share? 

For Thankful Thursday, we’re grateful for free goodies, especially when they’re Sissy-friendly and fur-girl approved.  I was talking with another dog-ma, newly gluten free, and she was guessing how hard it is for me to feed Sis.  (Sis isn’t truly gluten free, but … close enough.)  It was really a challenge for the first couple of years, but we are fortunate that we are a consumer-driver world, and we are educated consumers, demanding healthy food options for our pets too.   We still read labels, even on trusted brands, but we have so many more options virtually every time we go to the store.

What are you thankful for today?

Growing Good Luck

UntitledThe Knight has a knack for finding 4-leaf clovers.  I can’t tell you how many he has pressed in his wallet, or how many more are lurking in drawers and such around the house.   So when he told me there were SEVERAL at our back door, I rolled my eyes… and went to look.

Generally, I can’t find them even when he points them out, but I was able to pluck one all by myself before he weed-eated (?!) them away.   More sprang back up right away, so the other day, I decided to see if we had a little shamrock patch, and it would seem so.

UntitledI want to be clear… these are two different clumps of specialness.  They’re within a couple of feet of each other though. 

Do you have an eye for finding 4-leaf clovers?  The Knight insists they look so different they’re easy to spot.  I don’t know about that; I used to think I was good at those “find what’s different” pair of images featured in so many children’s magazines and such, but I just don’t know anymore!

Maybe Haddon Woods needs to be re-named Shamrock Woods?

UntitledAnd just because it’s pretty and was RIGHT THERE with the good luckers, my favorite azalea.  It’s still kinda’ small; it doesn’t quite get enough sunlight and like everything flora in the woods, it has to endure the deer and their snacking damage.

What’s growing and blooming in your world?


I can’t believe I forgot to tell you about Acadiana when I told you about my time in DC.  I don’t have photos, but it was fine dining indeed… totally worth ruining suede flats in new asphalt to get there.  I can’t remember what we ate or drank, but it was a lovely meal, and it felt very “Nawlins” despite being smack in the middle of Washington, DC.  Our waiter was pleasant and full of great advice on what to order, and the company couldn’t have been better either.

Do you Yelp?  That’s how we found Acadiana.  I’d definitely eat there again.

Liebster 2013

20130525-164758Sweet Krystle of Designed by Krystle presented me with a Leibster.    How ironic, given that my blog has been quite neglected of late.  I am hopeful that we’re back to normal now that the League year is all but over.  There are still a couple of key transitions to complete and there are definitely challenges ahead in the upcoming year too, but I think I have it under control… for now.

The Leibster comes with requirements, so away we go!

– Name your nominator and provide a link to that persons blog. (see above)
– Post 11 facts about yourself.
– Answer 11 questions from your nominator.
– Nominate 11 other bloggers.
– Ask 11 questions for your chosen bloggers.

Just click on the category 100 things or about me and you’ll get plenty of random facts.  No?  Okay then…

  1. Washington, DC is my college town.
  2. Ironically, my hometown is a true college town – Charlottesville, VA.
  3. I also consider Warrenton, VA my hometown, as I lived there from age 11-18, and it was also my father’s hometown.
  4. Believe it or not, I’ve carried the same handbag for more than 10 months now.
  5. I need a pedicure and can’t seem to make it happen.
  6. I have an edamame hummus problem.
  7. I don’t like chicken very much.
  8. I do adore bleu cheese… heck, cheese in general.
  9. I eat my salads without dressing if bleu cheese isn’t available.
  10. I go barefoot at home as long as my feet aren’t cold.
  11. I cannot drink apple juice, but the Knight uses it in cooking (smoking) all the time.

I’m not going to nominate 11 blogs.  Several of my favorite small blogs have ceased or trickled to a stop, and many of you have more readers than I do, so if you want to play along, go for it and consider yourself nominated!

Krystle’s questions for me:

1. How did you get started blogging?

Ha!  That always cracks me up.  I started blogging because it was a requirement for a knitting swap I wanted to do.  It was going to be purely a catalog of my knitting…

2. What is your favorite place to blog?

Where do I blog from?  It used to always be work, but of late, it’s from the sofa, with Gretchen’s assistance.

3. Where do you seek inspiration?

Everywhere.  Life is inspiring.  YOU inspire me; just recently, a couple of you sparked an idea I’ll share later this week… or next.

4. Vacation, the destination, or the journey?

Destination.  I used to enjoy some adventure on a vacation, but as hectic as life has been the last few years, I’m not even sure we’ve tried a new restaurant when we get away.

5. Favorite Holiday?

I don’t know that I have one.  Thanksgiving at the beach, maybe?

6. City or Country?

Country mouse here, but I do enjoy a good city visit periodically.

7. Country or Rock & roll?


8. What meal are you known for?

These days, the Knight is the cook and I bake.  Is dessert a meal?  If not, I still do a great lasagna.

9. Favorite Flower?

Whatever you give me!  I missed getting photos of the pretty PANK locally grown tulips a friend gave me last week.

10. Are you afraid of color?

Where?  On the walls in my house?  YES.  On my person?  Not so much, not since Lilly P became my go-to designer.

11. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Life’s too short for guilt.  I just snarfed down some puffed Cheetos, but I also work out 6-7 days a week, so no guilt here.

On the off chance any of you self-nominate for a Liebster, here are my questions for you:

  1. Sweet or salty treats?
  2. Red, white or blue?
  3. Dinner or supper?
  4. House phone or just a cell phone?
  5. We’re having a progressive dinner.  Which course do you want to host?
  6. What song is your theme song?
  7. Favorite charity?
  8. Do crowds energize you or drain you?
  9. What is your favorite piece of art in your home?
  10. Books – paper or electronic?
  11. How many pairs of flip flops do you own?

A quarter of a century


I have never been able to think of the day as one of mourning; I have never quite been able to feel that half-masted flags were appropriate on Decoration Day. I have rather felt that the flag should be at the peak, because those whose dying we commemorate rejoiced in seeing it where their valor placed it. We honor them in a joyous, thankful, triumphant commemoration of what they did.

— Benjamin Harrison

While it is first and foremost Memorial Day, a day in the US to give thanks to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom – and to thank our military, active, retired, discharged, alive or dead – it is also my nephew’s 25th birthday.  I’m not quite sure how that happened.  I very clearly remember his 16th birthday, high school graduation, and missing his big 21 party because Gretchen was missing…

And now, he’s solidly in his 20s.  I won’t flash a photo, but I’m proud of the man he’s become.  He’s a volunteer firefighter, he has a heart of gold, and he lives life to the fullest.  He’s not afraid to speak up for what he believes in nor is he afraid of hard work.  I’m still a little shocked that he’s been around for a quarter of a century already, but time does march on…

So happy birthday to him, and my most sincere thanks to those who died for our freedom.  I am fortunate that no one I hold dear has lost his life for the cause, but I am so grateful to those who were willing to do so, and especially to those who continue to put themselves in harm’s way so that we remain free.    Please remember to thank our military and their loved ones every day, not just on patriotic holidays.  While death is the ultimate sacrifice, almost no one returns from war without scars and wounds.  They are truly heroes.

Carry Her Back…

Virginia’s state song used to be Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.  We are without one right now, but nonetheless, it inspired the naming of said project.  You see, a dear friend of mine is moving and we are quite hopeful that in two years when her husband retires from his military career, they will move back here.  That should put the rest of this finished object report in perspective.

UntitledProject:  It Better Carry Her Back…

Pattern:  Knitspot/Anne Hanson’s Fruit of the Vine.  I chose this pattern because I wanted a scarf that could alternately be used as a stole.   It was perfect, because it was an Anne Hanson pattern (she’s a favorite lace designer of mine) so that means it was well-written with both charts and text, but it was also just what I wanted… a pattern that spoke volumes about our friendship and her time here in The Commonwealth.

Yarn:  Filatura Di Crosa Superior is probably my most favorite luxury yarn.  It’s cashmere and silk, and I have to presume it is what knitting with whipped butter would feel like.   I knew from the moment I decided to knit for my friend that I had the precise yarn in my stash; I was fortunate that Ms. Hanson’s pattern was easily adapted for the fuzzy, soft laceweight yarn.

UntitledNeedles:  Gretchen’s beloved rosewood #6 straights.  Yes, larger than recommended, because the yarn is fuzzy and I wanted to make it stretch as far as I could.   (Long-time readers might recall that baby Gg nibbled on one of these needles as a wee puppy, but the Knight saved the day – and the pricey knitting tools – by sanding the teeth marks right out with a VERY fine grade of sandpaper.)

Verdict:  I wish I’d happened to have two balls of said yarn to make it longer, but I know it will be appreciated and quite functional as-is.

What are you knitting?  I need to cast on for something new.  Something baby, that I can finish in oh… 10 days.  I have a very important baby shower on the 8th.  What do you knit for summer babies?

Wade in the Water

Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday.  Come on long weekend!  It’s been a wild two weeks, so let’s walk down memory lane.  Or… let’s just look at a couple of photos I haven’t shown you already.  They’re bittersweet.  I am grateful we had paths, and honestly, I haven’t had time to miss them much.  Between travel and annual meetings mixed with unseasonably warm weather… yeah.  Not so much walking.

photo.JPGSo, back to a cool thought.  Sis isn’t exactly all in, but she’s much closer than Gg.  Gg isn’t taking any chances.  She did get to water’s edge, but not quite close enough to even wet her whistle.

Sis amazes me.  Remember, she only has one eye, which means she has depth perception problems… as in she has none.  This is a rather typical boat landing; it is nice and shallow for only a couple of feet and then the bottom drops off.  But my brilliant, aware, one-eyed girl knows.  I always held on TIGHTLY and watched every breath she took while she was in the water, but she KNEW.  She can be so very aware… when her nose isn’t too the ground.


See?  Maybe some of you reading on larger monitors can even see where the river bottom drops.  She knows.  She’s a good 10 inches from it, and that’s as far as she EVER went in.

I’m so thankful that we still have her right eye.  I’m so grateful for how well she adapted, and thus, how she forced us to treat her as normally as you can treat a dog with more allergies than not, primary (genetic) aggressive glaucoma in that one eye that requires a rigorous maintenance schedule.  I’m so grateful that she and Gretchen are both sweet, sensitive girls, and that they came to live with us.  They’re entertaining too.  As I type, Gg is sprinting, prancing and playing, but evidently a little earlier, she had some thoughts to share.

And I’m glad we’ll be able to settle back into our routine again.  Our short heatwave is almost over, and we’ll have a long weekend to make up for lost time, miles, steps.

Anything you’re getting back to, or trying to?


Virginia and the ’80s

What’s that line about how can I miss you if you won’t go away?   I really did miss you, but there’s no way I’ll catch up on my blog reading.  I’ll just have to start fresh… as soon as I can.

UntitledAnyway, I had a GREAT time at the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) annual conference last week.  Ironically, I have no photos of the four other women from our League who went with me…

Annual conference has THE BEST goody bags.  We got May Books, but given that our League’s new focus is literacy, I loved that our complimentary Georgetown Cupcakes were bagged accordingly.  Washington DC is my college town, so I had high expectations of them as a host League, and boy did they exceed those expectations.

UntitledThe opening ceremony is full of pomp and circumstance.  This year, I got to line up and process in with my friend and fellow president from another VA League.  I hadn’t realized before that we joined the Association before they did, but since we line up by decades, it was a happy coincidence that our Leagues are both “girls of the ’80s.”

UntitledThe host League’s reception is always fun.  Two years ago, we were in Philly’s Reading Terminal, and I sincerely never expected a League to top that, but JLW managed.  The venue was the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the food was amazing, and we were all entertained when the Nationals mascots showed up and enticed a few delegates to dance.

I’d also strongly recommend the museum if you’re in the area.  I love reading personal tidbits about the artists, and many of the exhibits feature detailed information about the artist, what was going on in her life, who or what inspired the work of art, etc.

UntitledAs much information as I gleaned, as much as I enjoyed brainstorming with the other delegates from our League, one of the high points of the conference for me was the awards ceremony on the last night.   I intentionally booked our League at a table with Northern VA, but two other Virginia Leagues joined us, and we had a great chat.  I’d heard my friend mention that one of their past presidents was joining us for dinner (for those not familiar with the region, Northern Virginia is basically a sprawling suburb of our Nation’s Capitol), and thought little of it.  So when I suddenly realized I was sitting next to someone I knew, a friend of my sister’s, I’m afraid we both made a scene.

That’s the beauty of the League.  Fast, long-standing friendships are formed by training and working together to improve our communities.   When you move, your League membership moves with you, and you have an instant network to plug into as you settle into your new place.  And you just never know when your paths are going to cross again.


And last night, my League held its annual dinner and wrapped up our year of 80th anniversary celebrations.  Yeah.  Do the math…  We were the University League before we eventually became the Junior League of Charlottesville.  It was absolutely the perfect way to a celebrate a very challenging but productive year.

Have you ever seen a prettier cake?!   Believe it or not, the cake wasn’t my favorite special touch.

969661_10151448398547869_1394913609_nThat honor goes to our own little history book that the Meetings & Events Committee crafted as a surprise for the rest of us.  Why yes, it is in my handbag and I will carry it around with me and make people admire it.   I’ve had to look at vacation and baby photos, so humor me if you’re local, okay?

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  How ’bout you? What have I missed in your life?


Happy Thorsday, little friday and thankful thursday!  I have up a post about a leash failure on the girls’ blog, if you are interested.  

I’ve tried to stuff this post down so it wouldn’t insist on being written, but… here we are.  I did control myself and didn’t rant on Facebook as soon as it happened, but a few of you have already heard this tale.

photo.JPGOn Saturday, we were enjoying our usual very long walk, over the river and through the woods.  Remember, we were INVITED to use those trails.  However, the private road to get to said trails is owned by someone else, and as I had feared when we began walking to the trails, that someone finally stopped me and told me to “stick to the main road.”  He was nice enough about it, and no, I didn’t point out that his neighbors (who have to have a legal right of way) had given us permission to use their trails and the road we have to travel to get to those trails.  I don’t know the terms of their own access agreement, and I don’t want to start a turf war.

The girls don’t understand why we now turn around at the “end of state maintenance” every single walk.  They were NOT amused yesterday when we made a loop – twice – to cover the miles I wished to log.  I have a back-up option we’ll exercise this weekend, but as with Gretchen’s attack, it irks the daylights out of me that we cannot just step out of our back door and walk the paths we’ve enjoyed for over a year now.


So, I’m still very thankful for the INCREDIBLE neighbors whose generosity gave us many months of awesome walks in the woods.   I suspect they’ll straighten this out when they hear of it, but somehow, even my inner six-year old self couldn’t find it in her to call them on Saturday and tattle on the other neighbor.   In time, we’ll pass on the PUBLIC road, and they’ll ask why they haven’t seen us on the paths, and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

We were happy to see our horse friends back in their field too.  They’re older and frailer, but I was elated when both dogs dropped into obedient heels and just walked on by.  Can you see how close they are to the path?  Gg was within INCHES of the horse closest to the fence, and she stayed the course without any barking, spinning or pulling!

And of course, I’m very grateful for the alternate route proposal.  It will require a short drive, but it too offers exposure to other dogs, horses, and a very large neighborhood with miles and MILES to walk. 

What are you thankful for today?


What the flower?!

photo.JPGThis is actually a royal purple, but that hue is so hard to capture, either through photos or editing…  I think it’s a weed and not even a true wildflower, but if you know what it is, I’d like to know too!  It stands about 30″ high, if that helps?  It’s growing wild along the edge of our property, up the edge of the neighbor’s driveway.  (No, not THAT neighbor or the wonderful trail neighbors…) 

Edited to add:  Thanks, Nancy!  It is indeed columbine, and in fact, this photo is identical.  Wonder if my neighbor would mind if I dug up a couple of plants for my house?

In the as Chan tries to clothe herself saga, the beige blouse I own is an epic fail, the PANK blouse I bought yesterday is even worse, and a sequined pewter tank I own might could work if I decide I’m up to doing sparkles and lace in the same outfit.  Right now, I’m thinking I’m going to just go with the dress I bought to wear for the dinner weeks ago.

444f35f3451a97fb41528f9b2000bda2_bestRight?  There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?  It’s not ubber fancy, but it’s pretty, happy, comfortable… and in my closet ready to go.  In fact, it may be machine washable. 

After wearing “winter clothes” on Monday, it’s supposed to be near 90 today.  Crazy weather.

What has you puzzled today?