Day 3: 30 days of gratitude

“Something I see every day.”

I gave this one some thought. Do I use an image of dirty dishes? The woodpecker that visits my hummingbird feeder? My bed?

I went with this:


It’s not always this tidy, but I have at least one cup of tea pretty much every day. The teapot generally makes 2 cups for me and it’s my preferred way to start the day. I make a pot of English Breakfast loose leaf tea from Harney & Sons. I put milk and sugar in my tea and drink it slowly, often while sitting in front of the computer. I need to clean off the patio table (it’s dirty, not cluttered) so I can sit out there now that the mornings are a bit cooler.

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Day 2: 30 days of gratitude

Today’s prompt is “nature.”  This one is easy for me. Or it would’ve been if I could’ve gotten wordpress to behave better.  I was trying to use the “add media from google” and I kept getting booted back or something.  I managed to copy over these two pictures.

These are from last month at Camp Little Notch in Fort Ann, New York, USA.  I’ve posted about CLN before.  Way back when, CLN was owned by a Girl Scout Council in upstate New York.  In the 2000s, they decided to sell the property and a devoted group of alums got together and did the things needed to do to buy it.  It has reopened as a summer girls camp and hosts other events and is available for rental groups.  The Adirondack Balloon Festival is held nearby and a bunch of people rented sleeping space (platform tents, cabins, or just “a spot to set up your own tent”) for the 2018 festival which is pretty great. A group of doctors has rented the space to do wilderness medical training.  Girl Scout groups have spent weekends there.  I’m so thrilled it is still being used and loved and rediscovered.

When I was there last month, I walked around the property and took pictures of the cowl I was knitting in several places – generally on the water (there is a large pond at camp). Let’s see if wordpress will cooperate enough for one of those.


Oh hey look – that worked.  That wooden bridge in the first picture is the Pooh Bridge and it’s perfect for playing Pooh Sticks (more than you need to know about the “game”) and having a Pooh Party (which for us mostly meant graham crackers and honey).

In the bottom picture, I’m standing on the waterfront swimming dock.  Way in the distance you can see the floating bridge that makes getting around camp a little faster (except in a thunderstorm).

If you’re interested in supporting Camp Little Notch, you can donate here (there is information about volunteering at that link – we’d love your money, but your muscles are very useful,too) or get a great 2019 wall calendar full of images of camp.

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Day 1: 30 days of gratitude

The leader/coach of the Weight Watchers meeting I attend here in Phoenix handed out a 30 day gratitude challenge a while ago.  I found the same list over at Live and Love Work, in case you want to follow along at home.


The prompt for Day 1 is “home.”  I can be kind of literal with these things (it’s why I often don’t understand the garments that are made on Project Runway when they’re supposed to be inspired by a building – I can’t “see” how they got from the buildings they saw to the floaty cocktail dress they made.  Clearly my strengths lie elsewhere), but I wasn’t willing to take a picture of my actual home.

This toad house was left by the previous owners.  I have no idea if toads have ever been inside it, nor do I care.  I was thinking about designing a sort of fairy garden thing around them (they also left a “Wart Mart”), but I haven’t yet.  The yellow flowers are lantana (Lantana montevidensis or L. camara).  A fairy garden is pretty far down on the list of “things we should spend money on” right now when our house in North Carolina still hasn’t sold, but maybe I need to start looking for ideas.

I’m thankful we have a home.  We feel safe in our home and don’t worry about being attacked, bombed, invade, or ordered to leave at a moment’s notice. My kids have private places, we have a more than adequate food supply, we have people we love and who love us.

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A challenging part of moving house is sorting out where to put large furniture that had been in the previous house. In our NC house, I had an “office” in what I think was meant to be a formal dining or sitting room. I didn’t love the space because it was right off the front door, it had no door (the opening was double wide, so adding one would’ve been costly), and I shared with the boys’ computer.

In this house, I still have no space that is my own. That was an initial requirement when we were househunting, but was quickly becoming unrealistic when we needed to consider bedrooms for people, an office for DH (who works from home full time), and a guest room since people want to see us sometimes. It’s possible I could’ve shared the guest room, but the best way to do that would’ve been to put a futon or similar thing in the room and we don’t own one. It might still be a plan further down the line.  Also, with my children being 15 and almost 18, I might be able to claim one of those rooms in the future. A girl can dream.

In the meantime, “my” Expedit and desk have been set up in our (quite large) master bedroom. DH assembled them earlier this week, and I got my yarny things unpacked on Wednesday. I noticed while unpacking that my sock yarn stash has definitely decreased.  I used to have to really smoosh it down so that I could push the bin back in place. Now there’s headroom. Clearly working from stash has made a difference!


My laptop is on the desk now (and other random stuff because I’m not tidy by nature). I have a cat sleeping in an empty cubby and I need to get the rest of my personal books, magazines, and supplies in here. I keep reaching for a pen and don’t have one.

My desk faces a window that looks at the backyard, pool, and a hummingbird feeder. I’ve been keeping the curtains closed because it’s so hot out and they’ll help keep the room cooler, but I may have to open them when the sun isn’t shining in directly. I also want to update the tags on the bins (they’re from Target) because they’re not completely accurate anymore.

Now, though, I should probably go find another box to empty.

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Notes from the desert without pics

Like I said in my last post (about 2 months ago), I’ve been told blogs need pictures and I haven’t had the bandwidth to coordinate pictures and writing right now.  I’ve decided to just write and not worry about pictures because I need to get the words out even if no one reads them because of no pictures.  It’s not like this is a “monetized” blog or anything, so why should I care?

We’ve moved back to Phoenix.  We moved via PackRat moving containers this time and we hired some people to help with packing and loading.  Maybe with practice I’d become better at that job, but right now I just can’t “see” how things should be loaded in order to most efficiently use space.  I get a little better if I can move things around many times.  No one wants to do that with heavy furniture though.  These men we hired were fantastic.  They routinely assured us that all of our stuff would fit in three containers and they were correct.  You would’ve thought they vacuum sealed them.

Once the containers were loaded, we loaded the people and cats into vehicles and started the drive.  Nashville was our first stop.  My cousin and his family live there and we got them to entertain us for a couple of days as sort of a gentle ease into the long drive.  It was sort of this in reverse:  I didn’t listen to Harry Potter and wasn’t Rick Rolled.  I had Thing 1 in the car with me (we are the carb eaters, DH and Thing 2 are low-carb/keto people, so we split up by dietary desires 🙂 ) and he spent the bulk of his time watching Netflix on his phone (he downloaded episodes of things whenever we had a WiFi connection).  He did notice when I played “Southern Cross” (this video leaves off the coda which is annoying because “we never failed to fail: it was the easiest thing to do” is a great line) about 5 times on repeat, but only vaguely. I had to ask him, later, if he’d noticed. There’s been something about that song lately that really works for me.

We arrived in AZ ahead of our stuff and set about getting the cats and people acclimated (again, for the people) to live in the desert in the summer.  The cats quickly learned to only walk on shaded pavement or just stay inside.  I don’t think they like the lack of grass and trees that we had back in NC (truth be told, I don’t either).  I slept on a camp bed in a sleeping bag in the house with Thing 2 and the cats for a few days.  Thing 2’s room came with a loft bed, so we had a mattress delivered the day we arrived and bought sheets, so he definitely had a place to sleep.

A couple days later, the containers showed up.  The first two were furniture and big/bulky things so they were emptied relatively quickly. That was good since it was like a bazillion degrees outside.  The third container was boxes.  So.Many.Boxes.  I think the container was 16 feet long?  It was full.  Wait.  Maybe I have a picture.

First: a shot of the first two containers arriving.  They were all the same size.


This is that third “nothing but boxes” container.  Technically it did have other things, but barely.  That’s Thing 1.  He’s about 5’9″ (?) for scale (175cm/1.75m).


This was after we unloaded all the “non-box” things you can see in the front.  That white box, bottom right?  That was one of the yarn boxes.


We still have LOADS and LOADS of boxes in the house.  In every room.  The kitchen is mostly unpacked, but we’re not completely in love with where things are.  It’s unpacked enough that we can prepare and cook food and eat together at a table.  Days and days of take-away and drive thru were nice, but making that “where should we go for dinner?” decision every day got kind of old.  Tonight I told Thing 1 the menu and he cooked dinner.  That was lovely.  I didn’t even really mind doing the dishes.

I’m still working thru my planned projects.  The green socks and the red/fireball socks are done. I’ve made 20 points on my Hitchhiker scarf.  I tried to work on the Tulle while at knit night once and that was a mistake. The yarn boxes have been opened, but only to look for my ball winder that DH wanted to use for fishing line or something (to get it off the reel).  I didn’t find it.  What a surprise – nothing is where we think it should be.

So, I’m back in the desert.  Yay?

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Planning to live without yarn

Hi all,

I keep meaning to write and then I don’t take pictures and the word on the street is blogs need pictures.  I may have to just write without photos sometimes since I think I’ll need the writing outlet over the next several weeks and taking pictures may be more than I can remember on a given day.

My family and I are moving back to Arizona.  We have so much stuff to pack and we’re all overwhelmed, honestly.  I knew that my yarn and knitting books would be relatively easy to pack, so I started there.  First, though, I had to decide what NOT to pack because a couple of months without knitting is just a bad idea.

I decided I needed to roughly plan on 6 months worth of knitting.  I won’t be without my stuff for that long (one month is the most, really), but I figured that many plans would give me some choice and definitely be enough.

DSCF1793Starting from the upper left corner and going clockwise:

Hermione’s Everyday Socks in Fireball Sockease
Cat’s Paw scarf in Heritage Paints
(in that white and red sheep bag) two skeins of grey worsted wool to maybe be a scarf to donate?
A backup skein of sock yarn in case all the other is used up
This blue ball is hoping to be a Hitchhiker scarf
Lorna’s Laces in “Zombie BBQ” for socks for me
Some light sportweight yarn that might become a Baktus
My Tulle shawl in progress
(n the center) green socks in progress

Earlier this week I thought I was getting kind of fed up with socks and fingering weight yarn, but I haven’t committed to a pattern for the grey yarn, so I continue to just make socks.

I can put all those projects in a reasonably sized tote bag.  I’ve also crammed in there my main sock knitting book, all of my needles, and a “tool” bag with scissors, needle gauge, stitch markers and other useful bits.

Now if I could just get motivated to pack more stuff.  Ugh.


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Tape and paint

Picking colors is a problem for me. I know what I like and what I don’t like, but I struggle choosing where to begin and what colors can be used together. I rely on copying existing combinations where possible.

We’ve been in this house since 2013, and many of the walls still have just the builder’s flat paint. We painted our kitchen last year. We are painting my “office” space now.

We do get samples (and they are worth it for me who loves something in the swatch but hates it on the wall). It took 6 options to pick one. Today I started taping and got a little carried away. The walls on either side of that entryway are going to be painted. They don’t need to be taped. Thankfully painters tape is designed to come off easily.

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