Friday, March 27, 2015

Willy-nilly Random Stuff: Fending off the Devil…

1 - They say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  I’m not sure I agree with that completely.  I believe that it is good for the soul to take a little time off now and then and just do nothing.  But I must say that it is difficult for me to watch television if I don’t have something to do with my hands.  I’ve quilted in the past, but these days I’ve been crocheting.  It’s just a bit easier and more portable than quilting.  I’m going to show off some of my latest projects here.

  2 - This is a scarf made from Red Heart Boutique yarn.  The color is "Parrot."  I like this yarn quite a lot.  It’s soft and comes in wonderful variegated colors.  This particular scarf is done in the alligator or crocodile stitch.  It’s a fun, easy stitch and goes together quickly.  I’m donating this project to an auction in May.

3 - A little while back, I picked up a book called Contemporary Celtic Crochet by BonnieBarker because I love the look of Aran knitting, but I don’t knit.  This book has some great projects in it and the instructions are clear and precise.  I’ve only managed to finish one project so far, but I had a great time doing it.  I used Caron Simply Soft yarn for this project.  This one I’m keeping for myself.

4 - Now and then, I go with my daughter Carrie to Webs Yarn Store in Northampton, Massachusetts.  OMG!  If you like yarn and you’re ever in Western Massachusetts, you have got to go to Webs.  Of course, you can order from them on line and here’s the link, but being there in person is just a yarn lover’s dream.  The colors alone knock me out!  And, of course, I have to touch everything.  The problem for me is that I can’t afford a big project with the yarn they sell there, so when I’m in there, I buy a few balls of something for a small project.  The last time I was there, I picked up this gorgeous Plymouth Yarn Monte Donegal to make yet another scarf.  It feels like heaven and it’s hand-dyed, so the color is fabulous!    I will continue to have the warmest neck in town next winter.  I decided that I would do it in a Tunisian stitch.  When it gets long enough, I will stop and go on to something else.

5 - Sometimes I think that Olive, the pug, sheds enough that I could probably make a blanket or something out of her leftovers.  She thinks I’m full of soup!

Linking up to A Rural Journal's Random 5 Friday!

And Around Roanoke's Willy-nilly Friday Five!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Good Glasgow Fences...

The snow is melting around here, but not fast enough for me to get out and get any new fence photos, so I am setting the controls of my WABAC machine for June 19, 2010 and heading for Glasgow, Scotland.

Here are some Glasgow fences.

Tell me what this means, Mr. Peabody?  I sure don't know.  This was taken at the Glasgow Science Centre.

The Glasgow Armadillo (The Clyde Auditorium) is reflected in the BBC Scotland building on the River Clyde.

The Doulton Fountain, Glasgow:

The sun shining brightly in Glasgow.  I want to go back!

The Clyde Arc aka The Squinty Bridge:

Linking up with The Run*A*Round Ranch's

Good Fences. Thanks, Theresa!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Willy-nilly Random Stuff: Spring? Maybe not...

1.  They say it’s the first day of spring here in the northern hemisphere.  While that may technically be true, it’s snowing here.  So what else is new, eh?  Well, to me that calls for a trip back to the Smith College greenhouse.  Sure it’s snowing out, but I’ve got my memories and my photos of those gorgeous flowers to hold me over until the local thing feels safe to pop its head out of the frozen ground.

2.  I love orchids!  They are such happy flowers.  Before I read the book The Orchid Thief:  A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean, I had no idea how crazy people could get over a flower.  But when I look at orchids, I can kind of understand it.  By the way, the book is a good read and the movie based (loosely) on the book Adaptation is worth a look, too, in my humble opinion.  I think I have a new favorite orchid and it’s this one:

3.  One of the things I truly love about spending time at a place like the Smith College greenhouse is seeing the grand variety in nature. Apples and oranges...succulents and orchids.  It's all good and it’s nice when people have taken the time to pull all these great elements together.  I appreciate it.

4.  But going from the relatively cool climate of the spring bulbs to the tropical area can cause the camera lens to fog up and the need for a bit of creativity in the photo editing department.

5.  No matter where your hallways lead, I hope you have a great Spring!

Linking up with A Rural Journal's Random Five Friday &

Around Roanoke's Willy-nilly Friday 5.  Thanks, kids!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Saturated in Spring Color…

I've been thinking that I deserve a little color after this winter.  So yesterday, I met my daughter Carrie in Northampton and we went to the Spring Bulb Show at Smith College.  It was a wonderful celebration of exuberant color.  When I started looking through and editing my photos, I decided I also deserved to be a little exuberant with the color so here’s my interpretation of what we saw yesterday.

Here's Carrie showing off her new hair color. The ends seems to match those nice orange flowers pretty well.

The theme of the show was Monet's Gardens.  Here's the man himself in the flesh...well, maybe in the cardboard.

Our snowmelt continues even though today was pretty cold.  It's only a matter of time.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Willy-nilly Random Stuff: Time for the Blues

1.  I’m continuing on with my 52 Weeks of Blue challenge.  This is what I am doing.  I am taking a photo once a week that has something of the color blue as its central theme.  Those are the chosen photos I’m posting today.

Week 6:

2.  Day before yesterday, I felt really weird.  After getting up at 7:30 am, I went back to bed at 10 am, slept until about 6 pm, got up watched the news, ate dinner and watched a couple of other TV shows and went back to bed around 9:30 and slept through the night.  Could this be payback for losing that one hour this past weekend or am I just catching up in some other way?  Who knows?  Weird, eh?

Week 7:

3.  Speaking of time, I still have that crazy atomic clock that sits next to my bed.  It is exactly 11 minutes slow, which means that it lost another minute in the last year or so.  It has no knobs or buttons for changing the time because it’s supposed to adjust to the atomic clock all by itself.  Every fall, it faithfully falls back and every spring, it faithfully springs forward.  It’s just 11 minutes off.   It may be something about me and time.  We apparently don’t mix.  I can’t wear a watch either.  I kill them.  So, if you want to stay current, I’d say you had better stay away from me.

Week 8:

This was taken in the window of the department store Faces in Northampton, Massachusetts,
which is closing after 40 years in business.
4.  My son Evan and I joined some friends yesterday evening and went to see Monty Python and the Holy Grail on the big screen at our local movie theater Cinemagic.  I haven’t laughed so much in a very long time.  The movie is forty years old this year, but I was surprised to see that easily half the audience, including my son and  four others in our little group, hadn’t been born yet when the movie was produced.  That must make the movie timeless in a way.

Week 9:

I have yet to lose my marbles completely.
5.  I was saddened to hear about Terry Pratchett dying.  In case you are unfamiliar with him, he was a writer of fantasy books and creator of the Discworld series.  I’ve spent many very entertaining hours with him over the last few years.  Pratchett had a rare form of Alzheimer's disease, which killed him at age 66 which was too young, in my opinion.  He said, “So much universe and so little time.”  He sure was right about that.  RIP, Terry Pratchett.

Week 10:

Happily hooking up with A Rural Journal's Random 5 Friday:

Around Roanoke's Willy-nilly Friday Five:

Around Roanoke

Friday, March 6, 2015

Willy-nilly Random Stuff: Squirrels, Pugs and Other Things…

1.  Our bird feeders had been squirrel-free since November 25th of 2011.  On that date, I had finally figured out a way to keep those little devils from cleaning out our feeders.   I know it was that particular day because I wrote a blog-post about it.   Well, the day before yesterday our squirrel-free streak came to an end and the snow is to blame.  The evil geniuses finally figured out that they could climb up on that massive pile of snow in front of our house and take the foot-wide leap to the feeder.  I hate to rain on their parade, but it is going to be warming up here this weekend and that jump is going to get wider and wider and eventually they will have to go raid someone else’s feeders.  But, you know, it’s been a tough winter.  I guess I can’t begrudge them a little suet to tide them over until they can find their nuts.

Thinking, thinking..

Making the approach...


2.  We’ve gotten a nice variety of birds hanging around this winter.    My favorite so far has been this red-bellied woodpecker.

3.  I have been feeling pretty bad for Olive, the pug, in this weather, so today I let her out the front of the house to give her a little more room to find the proper spot for her very important business.  It took her 285 pug circles and three tries before she finally decided on a spot.  She looked so relieved when she was finished.

Where's the grass?


4.  Who’s watching Grantchester on Masterpiece Mystery?  I guess it's over for now.  I am sorry they’ve only made six episodes.  I am hooked on British mysteries.  I guess that’s because I fell hard for Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh and P.D. James when I was younger and never let go.

5.  Looks like we’re in for a long stretch of snow-free weather and temps into the 40s coming up.  Yay!  I hope you all have a pleasant snow-free weekend.

Linking up to Willy-nilly Friday Five &

Random 5 Friday 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Good Beach Fences...

Enough with the snow already!  It is starting to melt a little around the edges, anyhow.  Sure, maybe we'll get another snowfall or two, but winter is essentially over.   Our mailbox will resurface one of these days and Olive, the pug, will get her yard back.

But at this moment, most of the fences around here are still covered with snow and are not clearly visible, so I am taking a little trip back to Florida to Inlet Beach where we stayed in January.  Here are some of the nice beach fences that were near our condo.

Ahhhh, that's nice for a change!