Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring!!

I woke up this morning to rain.  I think it may have stopped by now but it will be raining off and on all weekend.  I don't really mind...good knitting weather, of course! And the rain here is soft not like the teeming rain of Florida we were used to. BUT...yesterday was perfect!!  Sunny and warm but not too warm!  A perfect Spring day.  Perfect for cherry blossom viewing and walking around the Tidal Basin in DC.  Take a look!



 The blossoms were beautiful but not at "peak", that would have been Monday of this week.  Still, we really enjoyed seeing them, so did many, many others from all over the world.  There were tons of people but it never felt too crowded.


 This old gnarled tree was amazing to see! I wonder if it's one of the "old" ones.
There were so many helicopters flying about, too. That's the Jefferson Memorial.


Four mounted police were standing in the shade...so I joined all the tourists and took a picture with one.

Then we found this lovely garden of spring flowers...tulips and daffodils!!  With the sun shining on them, the color was spectacular! 




 I think the ones we planted in our garden are this red/orange variety.
 I love this purple/yellow/orange combo...I should try to dye yarn that color!

 All those pictures of me...I thought you'd like to see one of Mike!  We're sitting on the wall surrounding the basin having a snack. The wing was blowing, knocking the petals off the trees...cherry blossom snow!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Got your library card?

Ten for Tuesday...I know, haven't done this in a while, huh?
It was suggested on another blog I follow that we do the last 10 books we've read (in no particular order).  So get out your library card...here goes!

1. The Client by John Grisham.  Grabs you right in the beginning and never lets go. It's about a kid who accidentally hears a confession to the murder of the most sought-after dead body in America.  And as in most Grisham books, there's a kick-ass lawyer.

2.  Hour Game by David Baldacci.  It's a Maxwell-King mystery novel.  These are two ex-secret service agents who now work as private investigators.  He's sensitive and she's the one with the gun.  They are wonderful together. A fun read with a great ending.

3.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  All the hype about the movie prompted me to read the book.  I had never heard of it before the movie hype.  The book shifts back and forth from his telling of the story to her telling of the story.  It's creepy.

4.  I'm a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson.  I've read so many of his books and they're all delightful.  He's a kind of travel writer but his books are about so much more than travelling.  His adventures and observations are laugh out loud funny.  Many times I read the funny passages to Mike because they're too funny to keep to myself.  This book is about his returning to America after living 20 years in Britain.  I highly recommend any of his books.

5.  The Giver by Lois Lowry.  A futuristic book on how emotions, history and memories are cared for.  It's an interesting take on what the future could be like.

6.  The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  I usually try to read books that Justine likes too.  She's a voracious reader and has many books.  It feels good when someone wants to read a book you recommend, so I try to read some of her books.  This was one.  It was ok but of course left you hanging so you'd want to read the sequel.  Someday.

7.  Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn.  I heard about this book listening to NPR.  It's a true story about a fake upper-crust aristocrat who almost gets away with murder.  It was good...a little dry but good.  Amazing that it really happened.

8.  Prince Lestat by Anne Rice.  I should probably warn you that I am a Lestat junkie.  Totally love him.  This is another in the long list of vampire novels by Anne Rice.  I loved it!!  Loved all the new characters and how they come together to save their existence.  A great ending...now to wait for the next one.

9.  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  Ok, technically I'm only half way through this book.  Hey!  It's scary...I'm working up the nerve to finish it.  What?  You've never been scared reading a King book?  Liar.  This one is about Danny Torrance, all grown up, screwed up and trying to straighten himself out...then stuff happens.  Danny?  You don't remember him?  He's the kid from The Shining.  Remember that scary book many, many years ago. It was the first King book I read.  I was in high school.  I graduated in 1980, yes, that long ago.



10.  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. I've read this before, a couple times.  It's such a wonderful book.  It takes place in Savannah, Georgia, which I've visited a couple times.  I think it helps to fall in love with a book when you're been to the place it takes place in, don't you think?  The characters are outrageous! The story is non-fiction. It's a raunchy good read.  I very often re-read books I love.  I'm enjoying this one again...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spider Death Count help from a friend


"Smash it" and "run like hell" I've done many times.  More running than smashing, truth be told.

"Shoot it"...I have two feet that are more likely to be hit than the spider.

"Set it on fire"...now that's one I should try!!
  
I'm adding flame thrower to my birthday list.

(Thanks Cathy Burch for this lovely Spider Identification Chart!)


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

SPIDER DEATH COUNT

Most of you know of my on going hate relationship with spiders.  Now, I know, rationally, that they are beneficial insects.  They eat bugs that are bad for the garden....blah, blah, blah.  Rubbish!!  They spin webs that are strategically located so you walk into them, they hide in the car and conveniently drop down on a thread right in front of your face, while you're driving with no where to pull over (this actually happened to me), they crawl across the floor just out of eyesight, trying to find a quick route to enter your space and scare you to death, ok, well, you get the idea.

Today is March 25.  So, Spring started this week, right?  Winter is still hanging on here, temps this lovely morning in the low 30s.  Anyway...Spring (concentrate Brenda!  see what spiders do to me)and Spring means that all those bugs that were tucked away for Winter are starting to emerge.  I actually killed two spiders on Monday. Spiders in the HOUSE!! No one was around to kill them for me so I had to do it.  I wish the Hulk had been around, not so he could SMASH the spiders for me but so that I could borrow a shoe of his (does he even wear them?!) and SMASH it myself!!  I did find the biggest, heaviest, deadliest shoe around and smashed the poor spider to oblivion. Poor spider my Aunt Fanny, as my mom would say!!

And just for the record, in case you're thinking I'm so cruel and horrible to SMASH and innocent, helpful, just-crawling-around-minding-his-own-business spider...here's my rule.  My space is the house, his space is the world outside.  I don't kill him in his space and he shall be squished in my space.  Ya know, in all fairness, his space is a lot bigger than mine.

Bring it on spiders...I'm armed with my shoe and ready for ya!!

And to make it interesting...I'm keeping a SPIDER DEATH COUNT  on the blog.  It's located on this right side bar, down at the bottom.  I'll tally up all my kills this year.  Now, if you find MY photo on the side bar, under a new heading, well then you know the spiders have won.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

No, I didn't knit this cute leprechaun...I sure would love to! He's an Alan Dart creation. You can find his amazing creations here on Ravelry.  My one time attempt at making one of his patterns ended in...well, actually, didn't end at all.  I never finished it!  Oh well...maybe I'll find it in the stash and finish it.  It was a crow in a straw hat and dress, holding a sunflower.  Three of us from the Jax knit group decided to make it...and only one finished!

Today I start a KAL with a bunch of gals in my knit group to make this hat:
It's Sheep Heid by Kate Davies!
My colors will be a little different.  I'm using up scraps from previous fair isle projects and also some Knitpicks Palette I have in the stash.  We're all excited to knit such a fun hat!

Hope the luck o' the Irish is with ye today!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

I can't stand it.



Here's the video of the song.  You have to watch it...

Welcome Spring!

Spring.  Feels like it's here, that's for sure.  It's warmer...the crocus are popping up, snow is almost gone (just piles of dirty, side-of-the-road snow left) and the birds are very active.  But is it really spring, the vernal equinox?

Here's what I found: Astronomically speaking, the March equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.  This marks the start of the spring season.  Meteorologically speaking, Spring starts on March 1st.  This is because weather scientists use annual temperature cycles instead of the position of the Earth in relation to the Sun. Technically, the March equinox happens this year on March 20th at 6:45 pm.

This year on the Vernal Equinox there will be a rare event... a total eclipse of the Sun! (Did you sing that in your head like me?...da-doo!)  The next time this will happen will be 2034. It won't be visible from North America but if you happen to be in Greenland, Iceland, Europe, North Africa or northwestern Asia, enjoy it. But don't buy any unusual plants that day...just walk on by (good for you).  You might unleash this...



(If you're scratching your head, you've probably never seen Little Shop of Horrors.  I recommend it, it's a musical, great cast, funny...I LOVE it.  My mom will enjoy this post.  She's in Vegas now but she'll, hopefully, see it when she gets home.  You're welcome mom.)