Thursday, July 25, 2019

I Like #124

It's been kind of an up and down week here-  Anna has been staying with me and going to daycamp at the Zoo which has been absolutely fantastic, but we've also had some deaths and serious illnesses in my close friend group and some stressful days at work.

In any case,  it's been less hot than usual (thank goodness) and so the summertime goodness keeps on coming.

1. The pups!  Bentley has decided he doesn't like being outside in the heat but he likes smelling outside. So he just uses his giant head to open the back door.  Unfortunately it can only be latched from the inside so if I'm out in my building I can't secure it.  We air conditioned the back yard for about three hours the other day before I realized what he was doing.

2.  Quilting!  What was I doing in the studio you might ask?  Well, I was actually quilting.  I made a fair amount of progress on my latest piece (hooray),  here's a quick snapshot. 

3.  Crabapples.  My tree was covered this year, and Anna helped me pick them all over the last couple of evenings.  She was great at getting all the low ones.  Even though the tree itself is small, I think we have enough for two big batches of jelly. 

You can see them here,  full filling the bottom crisper drawer and fully filling that large roasting pan.

4. Anna!  Anna is by far the very best thing to happen this week- here she is tying her shoes with Blue's help.  He loves to help- help with breakfast, help with shoes, help with hair braiding, help with sunscreen application.  One of us is going to trip over him and break a hip.  

5.  Houseplants outside in the summer.  I move a couple of my houseplants outside in the summer and they've been doing great.  This mother of thousands is taking over the world, and some of the giant new leaves are so big that the leaf edge babies have leaf edge babies.  Fractal plants!!  Hooray.

6.  Of course my flowers.  Thanks to the cooler than usual weather, they're still going along.  Dahlias and zinnias and even a few marigolds and petunias.

I hope you all are having a good week!  Thanks to LeeAnna for keeping us positive!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

I Like #123

Things to like this week!

1.  Knitting!  My friend Barb is undergoing chemo, and though she seems to be doing great, she did lose her hair.  I decided to make her a hat, and found this cute free pattern on ravelry.  I'd never made a hat before, and it came out a bit lumpy, but it's bamboo yarn and so very soft and not itchy.  That's me modeling it in the picture, but I think Barb liked it too.

In a second knitting related event, my awesome friend Kristin sent me a new pair of knitted socks!  She's the one that made me my favorite turquoise ones before, and these are just as fun.  They're red and pink and have a fabulous waffle pattern.  They're a bit heavy-definitely winter socks, but it will get cold eventually! So wonderful.

2. When my parents were up in Utah earlier this year, they visited Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.  It's a huge place, and an even bigger organization.  They're dedicated to making all shelters in the nation no-kill, and are doing amazing work.  In addition to a huge animal sanctuary/adoption center in Utah, they have other sanctuaries/shelters/foster organizations all over the country.  They also provide extensive support and resources for other shelters.  It's really an amazing organization.  One of the things they were heavily involved in was the rescue of the large number of pitbulls from Michael Vicks horrifying dog fighting ring back in 2008.  Almost all the dogs from that wretched place were rescued, many by Best Friends, and later found forever homes.  That event really helped change the cultural perspective by demonstrating that even animals raised in such an awful place and trained from birth for fighting can heal and recover and become loving members of adoptive homes.  This particular group of dogs was renamed the Vicktory Dogs and was the subject of a documentary.  My mom got me a set of notecards for my birthday featuring eight of the Vicktory Dogs, and I wanted to snuggle them all (lots of them have now passed away from old age).  






Little Red

Handsome Dan
3.  And my pups!  Blue split his dewclaw all the way up last week and had to go in to the vet to have it clipped off at the base.  It was pretty painful, and even with some meds he was pretty mopey and sad for a few days.  He's doing fine now, running around and bouncing as usual.  Bentley is fine,  he saw a toad on the back porch this morning while I was throwing the ball for Blue and chased it into the flower bed (ignore the weeds).  I made them go inside after that so they wouldn't traumatize the toad further.
his bandage made him look like he had a ballet slipper on.

He stood like this, partly over Bentley, for like five minutes before moving.  It was the evening he came back from the vet and I think he was still a bit dopey from the sedatives.

The toad is sort of blendy, but as soon as he moved Bentley saw him, and I think he could smell him too.

4. My flowers!  I think this might have been the peak weekend for my flowers.  Everything was looking great, blooming and beutiful.  Now it's getting steadily hotter, the marigolds are dying and even the dahlias are looking sad.  Something is also eating the dahlia leaves and petunia blossoms again and I don't know what it is.  We haven't had any rain, and I haven't seen any slugs or snails, but I don't know what else it would be.  Bugs of some kind maybe?  Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can coax the dahlias through the heat.  The marigolds will probably die back but my sister says she gets another round in the fall so maybe I will too.  One weirdly exciting flower thing, my alliums are blooming.  They should have been way earlier in the spring, but I got the bulbs in so late I didn't think they'd do anything.  I don't think they're going to fully bloom- it's so hot they just seem to wilt as soon as they open, but I got these cool partly-bloomed flowers.

5.  Finally, I like kayaking!  I actually like canoeing better, but I just like boats and water generally.  A friend invited me to go on a full-moon kayaking excursion on Lake Overholser and it wound up being beautiful.  Lovely and breezy and not too hot.  The moon was pretty and it was great to be on the water (especially since we aren't sailing this year).  I didn't take any pictures on the actual trip because I put my phone in the car (nice in itself), but I snapped this one before we left.

I hope everyone had some things to like this week.  For more positivity, head over to LeeAnna's!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I Like #122

What a truly fabulous week this has been.  Mostly because I got to spend it with my parents and sister and kids at my folks' place in Ruidoso New Mexico. So wonderful my heart clenches up when I have to leave.

So a small selection of the goodness from this week:

1. I like the views.  Along the way you get the gorgeous skies over the eastern NM prairie and then the sunset over the mountains once you're there.

2. I love the kids.  I don't share too many pictures of them, but the people really are the best part.  This time I got some great snaps of my dad teaching Alex to play rummikub (including one of Alex picking his nose) and my mom teaching Anna.  They're such fun!

3. I love 4th of July and parades!  It reminds me of all the good things about being an American!  We went to the 4th of July parade in Capitan this year-  it's a very small town but has the big 4th of July parade in that part of the world.  It's the home of Smokey the Bear, so of course he was in the parade, in addition to all the typical fun parade stuff.  One other highlight was this super fun dog in a tutu and top hat!

4.  I love wildlife (mostly)!  We saw several large herd of elk around town, but I didn't get any pictures of them.  I also caught this roadrunner in a median while at a stop light!  I was so excited-in spite of it being the state bird of NM, I'd never seen a roadrunner in Ruidoso before.  And some less exciting wildlife-  the last morning I was there we had a rainstorm and HOARDES of snails came out and infested the driveway and flower beds.  They crawled all over the stuff I was loading in the car and one I didn't noticed even came back to Oklahoma with me!  I squashed it-  I don't want them anywhere near my flower beds.

5.  I love Monjeau and Crest Trail!  One of my favorite places to hike and picnic as a kid was Monjeau lookout and Crest Trail  (I loved Crest Trail so much I made a quilt of it).  Unfortunately, a few years ago the whole area was devastated by a forest fire, and we hadn't been back since.  But this trip, Becky and I took the kids up to climb on the rocks (a favorite pasttime), see the lookout tower, and enjoy a short bit of hiking.  One of our good friends used to work in the lookout tower fire spotting when she worked for the Forest Service.  In spite of the terrible (and still evident fire damage), undergrowth is starting to come back.  Low lying scrub and baby aspens are the most prevalent.  And one of the most exciting things is that one of our favorite huge landmark trees was bypassed by the fire!

We were trying to make 25 with our hands (the trail number) but the little kids were taking the pictures (about a million) and kept cracking us up.

6.  I love new hiking trails!  My mom and dad took us hiking on some new hiking trails in a different area that wasn't burned.  The trails are beautiful and were developed in partnership between the Forest Service and a group called EcoServants.

When I was a kid, we used to drive past the old, out of commission ski area on our way up the mountain to the ski area.  It had several old lifts and stuff and my mom said she skied there one time as a college-aged kid.  Little did I know that there was an even older ski area in the area.  When on this new hike (in an entirely different part of the forest from the ski area), we walked past this area and my dad told us it was the ski area when he was a kid there.  Really just a slope with a tow rope (long gone) but so cool to think about.  It still has the cleared feel of an open ski run. 

7. I love taking the dogs!  Becky brought her dog Auto (AKA Blue's very best friend of all time), and all the dogs had a blast playing together.  Blue and Auto especially never slowed down long enough to get a good picture of them.  

I got back on Sunday night, and I know everyone will be pleased to be spared pictures of my dahlias for a week (don't worry, they did fine without me).  Blue was sulky about leaving Auto, but he's coming to visit in just a few weeks.  I hope everyone had a great week!  Click on over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

I Like #121

Happy 4th of July everyone!  I'm (hopefully) out watching the parade in Capitan, NM (original home of Smokey the Bear) and having a good time with my family.  Next week, I'm sure things to like will include those celebrations.

For this week, here are some things I'm liking:

1. The Smokey the Bear song!  Having grown up in the outdoors in a fire-prone place, Smokey the Bear loomed large as one of our key mascots.  I loved singing his song at camp or while hiking or in scouts. You can hear it here, skip ahead to 1:30 where the song starts:

2.  My first big dinnerplate dahlia is blooming.  I've never grown these before and even still incompletely open it's fabulous.  Can you tell I'm excited?  My zinnias are pretty too, but they have powdery mildew!!  Does anyone have any suggestions?  It's really awful, and I'm hoping it doesn't spread to everything else.

3.  I finished the baby booties!  I think they're still too big, but at least they're done!

4.  On Monday night, Mike took me out to Sushi for my birthday (delicious) and then I went to the local Irish pub to hear my friend Cliff sing.  It was a fun evening!  Lots of good folk music.

5.  I was looking for a missing unicorn headband (I never found it and am really sad) but I did find my old rainbow Conley's Trout Lakes hat.  It was a business my grandparents owned when I was a kid and I have lots of fond memories.  I never wore the hat because it was one of those with very defined points in the front,  but I stitched them out as best I could and I'm going to try to start wearing it!

6.  Last weekend I finally had a big chunk of time to work on quilting my quilt, which was very exciting.  It's slow going, but I love making progress.  

7.  The dogs left the sliding glass door open the other day and one of our back porch toads came into the kitchen.  I love having them back there, it makes me so happy to think of them eating some of the bugs that are so omnipresent this time of year.  Luckily I caught him and took him back outside.

8.  And my pups!  They really get me through everything!  I started walking them both together again this week which is really good.  And Blue loves to stand on the sofa with his paws up, he's at perfect hug-height that way!

I hope you are all having a great summer and have a fabulous 4th of July!