Neat Stuff

Help me learn to knit socks!

This post is NOT about Butterflies!  But I just had to share this visit from a Swallowtail Butterfly while I was in my garden taking photos for TeriC!

This post is actually about knitting socks!  Actually - about the fact that I don't have a clue about how to knit socks

Many, many years ago, I knitted lots of sweaters!  But I have never, ever given knitting socks a thought! In fact, I had pretty much put knitting completely behind me!

And then I read Sarah's Christmas in July - Crafty Crusader All-Star interview with OneRedBootKaren has knitted 15 pairs of socks since January and is working on number 16! And she has shared these lovely photos of some of her gorgeous socks.  She is indeed a Crafty Crusader All-Star!

Karen!  You have totally inspired me to learn to knit socks!

Don't you think it is about time I do something about my dismal sock wardrobe?

But, given the fact that I don't have a clue about where to begin, I need help!  Sock knitters out there, would you please comment with the name of your favorite book or other source of information offering EASY instructions for knitting sox - preferably big, bulky, cozy, crafting-while-watching-TV socks in an uninspired pattern like a straight knit stitch!  I'll add interest with variegated yarn!

Thank you!

PS:  Don't forget to enter the Christmas in July Give-a-way.  Deadline is July 24th (Friday) at mid-night!

Christmas in July Give-a-way

July 25th is officially "Christmas in July" in our family! 

While Diane and Michael were growing up, we would celebrate by visiting our favorite Christmas shop in Scottsdale, AZ  called the Scandinavian Shop to select an ornament for the Christmas tree.  Actually - we usually came home with more than one each. We couldn't help ourselves!  There were millions and millions to choose from!  The walls and ceiling were completely covered in garlands decorated with so many ornaments even the "pine needles" were invisible!

This year to celebrate July 25th, I am going to give away the ornament above which has been on our family Christmas tree for the past 30+ years.  Since I gave Diane and Michael all their ornaments long ago so they could put them on their own trees, I don't have one from our July 25th trips to share.  But this is one Diane and I picked out on a Christmas shopping trip together many years ago, and with her permission I am giving it to one of you! 

To be eligible to enter the drawing, please leave me a comment telling me the one thing you love most about the winter holidays!  Comments will be closed for this drawing at midnight July 24th and I will announce the winner on July 25th.

Good luck to all!

Beautiful Country

We are taking a short break soon!  And this is one of the places we are headed! Realto Beach, part of the Olympic national Park on the Olympic Peninsula.

And this is where we have been this past week along the Clackamas River in Oregon. Gorgeous country!  Look closely and you will see two kayakers and a fisherman playing in the river.  Don't you wish you could join them? 

Turning 180 degrees from where I took this shot...

Basalt cliffs revealing basalt flows that occurred over millions and millions of years all over the state of Oregon and part of Washington and Idaho.

We were there to look for zeolites, tiny nearly microscopic crystals that grow in cavities formed by gases in the molten basalt before it hardened.  It is a thrill to break into a pocket lined with crystals that no one has ever seen before.

And zeolite crystals weren't the only thing we found growing in the basalt! Quite a contrast to the picture of the river not over 100 feet away.

I will take lots of pictures of Olympic Park, I promise.  I want to share it with all of you.


Empty Nest Syndrome

Mother's Day 2009 - baby robins hatch right outside my front door! And I have a perfect "bird's eye view" from my bedroom window!

I didn't go near the nest for the first week as I didn't want to discourage Mom Robin from hanging out and keeping their little pink bodies warm! But toward the end of the week, she left them unattended quite often as she searched for worms and other treats to bring back to her chicks.

Here they are - just 7 days old!

10 days old!  My husband decided to help out a bit, gathered worms from under flower pots and left them in a dish near the nest.

11 days old! The chicks are really growing and changing fast now - I hardly recognize them from day to day!  Look at that beautiful little wing.   

On day 12 it's starting to be very tight quarters!  I can't believe all four chicks can still fit in the nest together.

Day 14 and look how much they have grown and changed. Aren't they the cutest little robin chicks you ever saw!  I love those little white tufts on their heads which are left over from the day they were hatched.

Definitely getting too crowded!  The chick standing spent a couple hours fluffing his feathers and then, just two weeks from the day he was born, he flew off with Mom to learn the ways of the world outside the nest!

Day 15,  only three chicks in the nest.

And then at mid-day another chick takes off with Mom to join his sibling hiding somewhere in our mini forest. So now - two left in the nest.  And with all that room to stretch out and Mom still bringing 50 meals a day, they don't look too eager to leave the comfort of their newly expanded living quarters.

But Mom had other ideas and by noon of the 16th day, only one little chick remained.  I worried that Mom Robin would leave him there all by himself overnight - but within just a couple hours she returned for her last little chick.

We can hear our robin family making sweet little robin sounds in the forest. Mom Robin sounds just like a "Mother".  And the chicks?  Well - they sound just like typical, playful little chicks!

I am left with an empty nest and memories of one of the more exciting two weeks of my life! I miss the chicks already.

I wish each of you the opportunity to watch baby robins grow at least once during your lifetime.



My friend Chris tagged me recently, so I must answer 15 questions about myself. Chris did say I could change the rules (if you read Chris's blog Prisim Trail! you already know Chris has never followed a rule in her life)! So, instead of writing out my answers, I am answering in pictures and that way, if you really don't care where I am going on my next vacation, you might still enjoy the photos!

Chris just returned from Hawaii and has posted a series of beautiful photos of her trip. Start here!

Chris also changed the "tag eight people" rule and only tagged one person! I like that change. I am tagging Liz, who just returned from a fabulous trip to Cairo and probably has all the time in the world to do this! Well, maybe not, but she is a wonderful photographer and I am hoping she will follow my lead and answer in pictures. Be sure to join Liz on her Cairo adventure. Bon voyage!


1. What is your current obsession? I have two right now and both will result in tutorials this year.

Gourd crafts


2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most lately?

3.What's for dinner?

Posole! Pork and hominy stew flavored with oregano, cumin, crushed red chili and onion.

4. What was the last thing you bought? A re-blooming lilac. Seriously, it blooms from May to frost! But it hasn't arrived yet, so no picture.

5. What is your favorite vacation spot? Olympic National Park:

Rain forests


6. What is your favorite movie? "MOONSTRUCK" and "LOVE ACTUALLY"

7. What are you reading right now?

8. What four words would you use to describe yourself?

"I believe in magic!"

9. What will be the first Spring thing you do?

Sit on my patio, drink tea, and eat cookies.

10. What was the best thing you ate or drank in the past year?

This photo is as close as I can get to a Cornish Game Hen with a ginger, curry, apricot, cranberry glaze.

11. What flower are you most anxious to see this Spring?

California Poppies!

12. What is your current "guilty pleasure"? BACON - always has been and always will be!

13. What are you most happy doing? It's a tie!


Photography trips.

14. What has had the greatest influence on who you are today?

Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

15. Care to share some wisdom?

"There are two ways to live your life.

One is as though nothing is a miracle.

The other is as though everything is a miracle."

Albert Einstein

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