The Book in My Ears

The Book in My Ears

It’s Tuesday and that means Carole wants to know:

10 Things to Do While Listening to an Audiobook

Well, I have been enjoying Audiobooks a tremendous amount. I don’t know about you, but for me there is just something amazing about getting things done and reading (listening to) a book as the same time!

So, here is the list of things I have recently accomplished while listening to Audiobooks:

  1. Laundry is really not so bad when you are listening to a great book!
  2. Knitting – of course, this has been a huge help in me getting my Knit Along List whittled down!
  3. Spinning – again, the best companion to treadling away!
  4. Walking – this really is fabulous. Getting some exercise in during a half hour or so walk has helped increase my daily step count!
  5. Gardening – specifically, weeding. Thanks to a good book, the gardens are staying weed free this summer!
  6. Cooking dinner – unless your other half wants to talk to you while you are cooking…
  7. Preserving – making pickles and jams is fun, but more fun while listening to a good book!
  8. Sewing – Inspector Gamache is fabulous while sitting at the Bernina™
  9. Vacuuming – while it does not make the task entirely fun – it helps tremendously!
  10. Ironing – again, a most tedious task made better with a good book in your ears!

So tell me, Gentle Reader…Audiobooks – yes? No? What’s in your ears right now?

The Piquant Tastes of Summer

The Piquant Tastes of Summer

Reveling in the lush greenness that is everywhere I look,

Weeding the garden and marveling at how it is growing,

Sipping iced coffee in the early morning while listening to the birds sing their summer operas,

Savoring the delicate flavors of freshly pickled vegetables,

And, knitting under the pergola,

These are the tastes of my summer.

My Backyard Bucket List

My Backyard Bucket List

It’s Tuesday and that means that Carole wants to know:

10 Things On This Summer’s Bucket List

Well, there are a number of ways to approach this, but I am going to make this be a “doable” list – as in things I can do here in my little corner of the world.

Sometimes, there are the best things right in your own backyard!

  1. Go to the zoo
  2. Eat shaved ice – Gus and Yia Yia’s to be specific
  3. Get a pedicure – really, this is so Summer Bucket List Worthy!
  4. Watch the sunrise from Mount Washington
  5. Take a long walk along the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio Rivers
  6. Ride on the Gateway Clipper
  7. Visit the Heinz History Museum
  8. Have one of Lucy’s World Famous Banh Mi
  9. Write and send handwritten letters (this is one you can help me out on – want to exchange handwritten letters this summer?)
  10. Take our FriYAY Happy Hour on the road for a new perspective

So, there you have it – my Pittsburgh Bucket List! Now, what I want to know is what would you put on your “backyard” bucket list?

An Explosion of Color – Internalized

An Explosion of Color – Internalized

I am not sure if it has been the volume of rain we have gotten, or the suddenly warm days, but my roses are on steroids this year! The branches are so full of blooms and buds; they are weighed down with the volume of them! And yet the buds keep coming.

This little bouquet was hastily picked before bad thunderstorms and winds arrived here three nights ago – and they still look amazing.

This got me thinking, or perhaps it was all the curiosity that this post stirred up (really, go read all the linked posts – if you were not curious before, you will be soon!)

How often do I take what comes my way, good or bad, and allow it to bloom an explosion of color in my life? Or, perhaps an explosion of something good/positive/enriching is a better way to think about it.

Honestly, I can tell you that the answer is not very often.

Oh, it is easy to do when what comes your way is good – but the bad? Yeah…

For me, that almost always just makes more bad.

I have been carefully working on my gratitude focus – trying to quietly find one or two things to be grateful for each day. Some days, I am hard-pressed to find anything, and other days the things I am grateful for flow easily into my journal.

One blessing that has come out of journaling is that I can look back and clearly see how the external effects me internally.

Now I need to focus on how to be like those roses – good or bad – create an explosion of color where I am planted!

P.S. I wrote a guest post on the Sheepspot blog with my thoughts on the first year in the Fiber Club! Sign-ups open again soon, just sayin’

Curiouser and Curiouser!

Curiouser and Curiouser!

It is Tuesday and this week Carole brings me a very challenging topic. Very challenging. She wants to know:

10 Things You Are Curious About

I am really happy that Carole sent  this topic on Saturday so I could spend a good bit of the weekend pondering my curiosity.

Albert Einstein’s quote fits me completely because while I really don’t have any special talents; I am passionately curious.

Now, I am not curious in the sense of wanting to take things apart to find out how they work – I was not the kid who wanted to know how radios work, or how records make sounds (yes, I was of the era of vinyl records). Nor am I a risk taker – you won’t find me curious about skydiving, deep-sea diving, or mountain climbing.

But I am curious about many things and here is my Curiosity List:

  1. Pattern Design – especially in knitting. I am so amazed at the volume of patterns that are published daily on Ravelry. While, this seems to me such a daunting task; I would like to take a class to learn more about this.
  2. Pattern Technical Editing – which kind of goes hand in hand with pattern design. But, really – how do they do it?? Curious minds want to know!
  3. Home Brewing Beer – I have read books and I have a great friend who brews some amazing beer. I am curious about the entire process.
  4. Photography – I think my photography skills have been improving, however I am curious to learn more about the intricate details of the craft. I would love to take a class and learn more.
  5. Learning languages – We are a single language household, but curiously I have a daughter who is multi-lingual. Men Duolingo hjælper mig med at lære.
  6. Different cultures – the differences and similarities fascinate me. Thanks to Tess Vigeland, I am very curious about becoming an ex-pat.
  7. Shepherding – It is no secret that I love wool. I have this beautiful daydream that I live on a gorgeous farm with a flock of happy sheep. I am curious if this dream would be as lovely a reality. Perhaps I can fulfill two curiosities with this, although my daydream did not include 850 acres.
  8. Hand Writing – especially Calligraphy. This just fascinates me.
  9. Writing – I am curious how successful the participants are of NaNoWriMo are…
  10. Stained Glass MakingThese are just so beautiful, and having watched Vicki Payne make stained glass on PBS for years, I am curious to learn more.

There is my Curiosity List…What makes you curious?

The First Weekend of Summer

The First Weekend of Summer

Welcome to Tuesday (that really feels like a Monday)!

What could possibly help this dire situation? Reliving the weekend thanks to Carole and her 10 on Tuesday request:

10 Things You Did This Weekend

The weekend arrived a bit early here, Steve only had to work a half a day on Friday. Summer arrived in full force as well, with temperatures into the 90’s here. But, all in all it was a great weekend with a full spectrum of things to do.

We finished a garden bed that we had been working on expanding this month. Whew!

It was also a weekend of discovery – that is discovery in muscles I did not know – or forgot – I had!

There were plenty of cocktails – thank you Blackberry Brambles, Frose’s, Shrubarb (Thanks Vicki for this FANTASTIC new word!!) coolers, and even a beer or two.

The grill got the maximum amount of possible usage for burgers, grilled chicken, and grilled asparagus! There was also Lobster Ravioli, which was not grilled but so delicious!

In moments of respite from the maximum heat and humidity, there was sewing. Specifically, 100 Acts of Sewing, Dress No. 1 in a lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen that I got from Spool in Pittsburgh. Bonus points were achieved in making and installing the best bias tape I have made and stitched in to date!

There was some spinning – I finished up spinning and plying the ITW batt that I got last year from Maryland Sheep and Wool – I love how it turned out – 400 yards of heavy fingering weight yarn. I almost finished the Shetland done for my sweater project. I just have a tiny bit of spinning to finish and then plying can begin.

There was knitting…I finished sock number one from Carole’s Picot Socks. I LOVE it! Sock number two will be cast on shortly. I also began my Summer Wish List of those WIPs I want to get done this summer – starting with Indigo Cones. Sitting and knitting under the pergola is really lovely, just sayin’.

There was reading – I finished Ann Cleeves White Nights and it was excellent! I thought it was much better than book number one, and I will definitely be continuing with this series this summer! Which is good, because I need a book set in another country for my Book Bingo card! I started The Goldfinch, and within a few pages I was enthralled. This book will be hard to put down – this is a very good thing because as everyone has reminded me this book has over 700 pages!

There was a spectacular Happy Hour under the pergola on Friday!

There was time spent just enjoying that it was the weekend, with deep gratitude that it was not over yet on Sunday night.

There was time spent in meditation and reflection of what the holiday really means, beyond a long holiday weekend, and being filled with profound thankfulness to those willing to serve and give their lives in defense of freedom.

So, tell me – what was your favorite part of your weekend?

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