Beating the Heat?

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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?

Acadiana

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!

Requirements:
– 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?

Both!

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

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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.

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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?