In My Backyard | 9.29.23

In My Backyard | 9.29.23

It must be September,
July sun has disappeared
Charmaine J. Forde

This was certainly true this month… one of the most significant things I noted this month… darker morning and evening walks with Sherman. In the morning we are waiting for the sunrise and though it seems lighter at night, it is just because we are out as the sun is setting…and soon that will be dark as well!

I was fortunate to catch a few migrating travelers at my bird feeders this month. Yes, two different warblers stopped for a snack… a Bay-breasted Warbler and a Cape May Warbler. It was delightful to see them briefly on their long journey!

I took a bit of advice from Kym and went out into my garden with my journal and a pencil…and I wrote down lots of notes! I also did a bit of prep-work for the onslaught of spring bulbs that are on their way (The Slow Boat from Amsterdam!) Of course, they are slated to come when we will be in Erie, but Steve’s mom is our Mail Watcher when we are gone (I think she is the original Nebby Neighbor, but in this case it is useful, LOL!)

I am surprised that my tomatoes have continued to produce all month (despite the cold snap we had!) but this weekend I will  harvest what is left (fried green tomatoes anyone?) and pull the plants next week. My pots are looking mighty sad these days… that cold snap did them no favors! I will clean the lot of them, which will be sad… but I won’t have to come home from Erie with that to do AND plant that plethora of bulbs heading my way!

There was less porch time this month… but what days I could, I was out on the porch! And that will be my plan next month as well!

I have just today and tomorrow to go in Squat-tember! And while I did not achieve a perfect completion (I missed a few days) over all, it was a success! I found Petra to be a great motivator! I am going to continue squatting (and doing more floor sitting!)

And there you have my month… it was good but went by way too fast!

Have a great weekend everyone and I will see you all back here on Monday!

**photo above is from the 22nd at 7:27PM


Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

I had other plans for today post but life got in the way yesterday… bigly.

A small-ish issue with Sherman required some extra attention yesterday morning and a rather lengthy vet visit yesterday afternoon. But we have some new meds to try and I am hoping he is feeling better soon!

My plans for reacquainting myself with my painting spot did not happen … and it might not happen this morning either. I will have to see how Sherman is doing today… but it is absolutely on my radar!

I am falling back on the simplicity of a bit of a Friday RIFF… so let’s get started!

Re-adjusting —

Kym shared some links this week that I had been contemplating one of them until I saw this fun little knit from Leila Raven and I realized that this is exactly what I need.. fun, stripe-y, and I have the yarn in my stash! This is the motivation I need to finish my Pressed Flower wrap because I want to knit this next!

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A post shared by Leila Raven (@leila_raven)

Investigating —

This week I saw a *new-to-me* butterfly in my back yard, Google told me it was a Great Spangled Fritillary… a member of the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. It was so fun watching it hang around for all of Wednesday afternoon. A lovely addition to the plethora of Monarch’s that are in love with my butterfly bush this year!

Hello, Lovely!

Fresh (air) Poetry —

You Are Here… Yes, yes Ada Limón, The Library of Congress, and National Parks are getting their Poetry ON! I discovered it on that site formerly known as Twitter this week and yes… I am super excited for the anthology of poems! (Especially since poetry has been in the spotlight this week… and if you are a member of the Armed Services who writes, reads, or recites poetry… well done you!) I will be reading some poetry this weekend… it is the best sanity-saving thing I do!

Finally —

Today I am going to hope that Sherman has a good day and I can spend some time refreshing my painting spot. But… I am not beating myself up if I don’t because outside of that my week has been very productive. My *computer desk* has been decluttered and I have used it! My calendar got some “face time” with me… and that felt so good! We even had a bit of rain yesterday… not enough, but some is better than none.

That is it for me this week! I will see you all back here next week. Have a great weekend everyone!


Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

A First Friday of Summer RIFF | 6.23.23

First Summer Friday is a rainy one in my neighborhood… but that is okay, we need the rain and it smells so good outside! My tomatoes are growing by leaps and bounds and they are all loaded with tomato blossoms! I hope this means an abundant year of tomatoes… my fingers are crossed!

But how about a bit of a RIFF to ease into Friday…

Reconstructing —

I began the cosmetic knitting on poor Gnifty this week. A new nose and a bit of a beard have been knit and are awaiting attachment. And I have begun bird knitting! I am using those tweed mini skeins I got from Fibernymph Dye Works with this years Pi yarn! Tweed yarn makes for some cute birds! Ha! And, Vera will be excited to hear that there will be a crow!

In (search of) —

June has been full… but it has also been empty. Empty as in Monday is our “check in” with what we did with our word this month… and I have…nothing. Not one singe thing. So… my challenge will be to pull *something* together so that I can give an update… of all that I did not do this month. LOL

Oh… and then there is a certain summer painting class that I have not done one single thing for. This morning I sat down and hashed out a plan to attack those 6 lessons and get myself back on track.

(neighborly) Frustration —

This week our neighbor chopped down all their bushes (which provide a “fence” on the east side of our back yard). And I mean chopped… as in to the ground… sigh. So this morning we are heading off to a plant nursery to see what we can find to plant in our yard to compensate for all that.

(more neighborly) Frustrations —

It is summertime… and that is very evident in the volume of vehicles parked at our neighbors across the street. They have 4 kids of varying young adult ages that all live at home… yes, And it seems they all have a plethora of friends who all have cars *and like to spend the night* and that volume of cars is making it challenging for Steve to get out of the driveway for work each morning. I am waiting for the morning that I hear a huge crunch when he hits one of those cars… accidentally or on purpose… oy.

And with that… let’s get this weekend started!

See you all back here on Monday with something about my word!

Last RIFF of Summer | 9.8.23

Late May RIFFing | 5.26.23

It has been a week my friends. Hard things… so many hard things. So this LONG weekend my plan is to just be gentle with myself.

Rejoicing —

This year my poppy feels like it looks like this and while it is not quite that amazing, this morning there are 17 blooms open with at least 3 dozen more waiting in the wings! Don’t ask me about the remainder of my garden… it has been a rough winter/early spring in my yard. However, I have become a Master Weed Cultivator! HA!

Interesting —

Here in Pittsburgh, we are so blessed to have Rick Sebak… he is our Local Treasure and loves to bring to light all things Pittsburgh in the very best way. He has a new podcast, Gumbands, and I have listened to the first two episodes and I love them. They are brilliant. If you once lived in Pittsburgh – you will love them. If you ever visited Pittsburgh – you will love them. If you ever contemplated moving to Pittsburgh – you will love them. In other words, you don’t need to understand Pittsburgh or Pittsburghese to get them. He has smart conversations with fascinating people…

Fledgling —

This word has been niggling around inside me for the past couple of weeks now. I have been a diligent watercolor student for almost a year now… and yet… stepping outside the lines of the lesson strikes fear into my heart. But my latest class has been all about values… and this has me thinking about the practice of watercolor in entirely different ways! Ways that include trying my hand at paintings that are not “a lesson.” I got a new, larger sketchbook and have been doing a few pencil drawings. My next step is to do some Value Studies and begin the process of taking all that I have learned (it is is so much!!) and making it my own.

Final Friday —

It is the last Friday in May, the start of the long Memorial Day weekend. For me today, I won the battle and purchased some plants to fill a few planters. (Steve thinks buying flowers for planting is the largest waste of money on the planet.) I have some tomatoes that will go into a few containers as well. Nothing says renewal to me than having my hands in the dirt with the hope that what I am planting will grow and flourish. I need some of that renewal badly this weekend.

I hope that your long weekend provides exactly what you are in need of. See you all back here on Tuesday with my May Word update!

Friday Finds | 4.21.23

Friday Finds | 4.21.23

Whew! It’s been a week… and I have arrived on Friday with a completed list! Yes, yes! All the sewing is done! I am closing in the the toe of the second red sock! And I have started on the Vacation List!

And I managed to stumble across a few things this week that are share worthy! So lets get started!

One —

As you all know, I love a good cocktail. I especially love the complex layers of flavor that an aperitif provides. (Think Aperol, Campari, Fernet Branca, Amaro, etc.) This week, I discovered Cynar (pronounced Chee-nahr) and I have a new love! It is made from artichokes(!!) along with some other ingredients and I think the flavor is not as bitter as Campari and Aperol… but it makes a delightfully complex cocktail. This week I made a Cynar Negroni (equal parts dry gin, sweet vermouth, and cynar) I liked it better than a “regular” Negroni, as did Steve. But my favorite of the week’s “Taste Testing” was the new to me Bensonhurst. (if you scroll down you will find the recipe here) We tried a number of different rye’s and our favorite was the smokier flavored Double Barrel Old George Rye from Grand Traverse Distillery. If you are looking for a new addition to your drink repertoire, I highly recommend Cynar!

Two —

A knitted skirt crossed my path this week and it has been rattling around my brain ever since. (Apparently others have been struck by this same phenomena!) Some years ago I knit a skirt  (Ravelry Link) and I wore the absolute hell out of it and it was one of my most comfortable knits! I am contemplating… but I am not loving a skirt of a linen/cotton blend knitted fabric. I have had poor results with linen/linen blend knitted fabrics… they grow. So I am thinking that a wool/cotton blend might be smarter. (Hello, Coast… yes, I am thinking about you!) No swatching will happen before May… but I might be looking at colors!

Three —

I have prepared myself for a nationwide ban on Mifepristone… I mean really, does anyone think that a ruling delay to Friday at midnight could mean anything positive? My rage has reached the Off the Charts level. Some years ago I read The Power and recently I discovered that Amazon has made a series based on the book. I have watched a couple of episodes and admit to recently fantasizing about obtaining the power… I mean, a good jolt is what some of these people need, imo.

And that is all I have for this week! I will be back on Monday with my word update!

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