Thursday, February 27, 2014

Best of Random Pics...

I'm not lazy. I'm just tired of the stale news cycles... So today we're doing a "best of" -- I've dug through the phone and I've found some random pics that I don't think I've posted before. But if I have, please excuse and just enjoy!!

Comments always welcome - and share my blog with your friends. (Doesn't that sound awfully needy??? Well, we writers are like that...)

Altar in my office
This is the altar in my office. I use it as a focal point for meditation, and it's a little "sacred space" for some of my treasures, including my great-granny's medals, Tippi's TDI badges, candles, a rock from a trip -- all kinds of stuff that just means something to me. 

I saw an article in Yoga Journal about the altars people kept and some were quite spare. Some were beautiful. But all of them reflected the individual who created them. Some were just a bulletin board. 

All you need is a little space where you can put something meaningful up in front of you. It doesn't have to be "religious" in nature. It can be a picture, a seashell, a candle... anything that causes you to pause and think. 

That's the purpose. Not adulation. Not worship. But a space in your life (at home or at the office -- or both) where you are reminded to "stop and smell the roses." Or look at the picture. Or light the candle. 

Basically, a spot that reminds you to breathe. We all need that. 

Hi temps...
I don't know when I took this, but it was last summer. Just because it's 7* here (feels like "spring may never come" -- a/k/a -11*F), we often forget that yes, spring will come. And then summer. And we'll be griping or boasting about how hot it is. 

When you're freezing in this, the (hopefully) last of the Polar Vortex times, remember this picture and realize that, come August, you'll be whining. 

Well, I'll be whining. Either way.

We took these clematis down this past year. They had actually rather withered and even though I know they can last for years and years, ours succumbed to either the crummy soil, the hot weather or the dogs who kept peeing on them. 

Or a combination thereof. 

So last year, we took down the trellises and put in 2 lilac bushes. We will most likely trim the lilacs and keep them from getting "wild" but I will miss these clematis. I love lilacs, but I will miss the beauty of these flowers.  

If you get a chance, please plant these. They're gorgeous, hardy and beautiful in a mixed planting. Meaning, you can plant ANY combination of these flowers. If you want to be matchy-matchy, go for it. If you want to mix red, white, purple, variegated.

Well, do that, too. You can have big ones, small ones, a mix of the two.

You can plant one side in blues, one side in purples. Or any of the above combinations. 

Clematis have different blooming times, too. Ours always bloomed early and then by August, we were done. Mr. K., next door? His is GIGANTIC, but it's got smaller flowers. And it blooms a month or so after ours and lasts through fall. 

I bet he's got hummingbirds nesting in his; it's a very thick bush, growing up the side of his house. 

Raisa snout
So this is the first picture I captured of Raisa. First off, my Nokia is a second-generation. I'm truly looking forward to the upgrade this year!! Second, she's really quick! Luckily, my phone didn't come in for a slurpy Husky kiss. 

She's blending into the family well. And today, I got a text from Hubby, claiming "MY DOG" crapped all over the kitchen. 

"She's grounded for LIFE" he says. And then he takes them all out for a lovely long walk. He's putty in their hands -- errrrr, PAWS. 

This is her 3rd accident in the house, but she's barely 6 months old, and I think the excitement of having 2 other dogs in the house often distracts her.

Huskies always, ALWAYS have the canine equivalent of ADD - and puppies have it the worst. 

She'll calm down. Around age 6 or so... Maybe. 

This little lovely is a "chatelaine" -- Now, normally, the definition of a chatelaine is "the mistress of a household or large establishment."
Sheep chatelaine

The secondary definition is "a clasp or hook for a watch, purse or bunch of keys." In knitting terms, a chatelaine can be called a "scissors-keeper." This little weighted sheep has a "tail" and that has a velcro loop where you can secure your scissors. 

My scissors are usually kept in a project bag. And the ones in that bag (a/k/a an inexpensive zippered make-up bag) are the really sharp ones; I put a wine bottle cork on the tips to keep from jabbing myself when I'm rooting around in there. These are "airline approved" and blunt-tipped. This is a good place to stash them, so that the next time I fly somewhere, if I take something other than the "Before and After Scarf" (hey, 96" of knitting takes up most flights I'll be on!), I can grab these and be assured that the officials won't confiscate my good pointed embroidery snips. 

She's cute. Quirky. And a sheep. What more could a knitter ask for? 

If you're ever looking for a "little something" for the knitter in your life (or as a small treat for yourself), check these out. This is from Lantern Moon, and I got mine for under $20. You can get them at your LYS (buy locally when you can!!!) or -- of course -- on Amazon or at your favorite online yarn store such as Jimmy Beans or the like. 

Yes, since you asked: all the dogs DID think she was a new toy. She's on my knitting table where they can't get to her. 

Ahhhhhhhhh - spring-to-summer on the prairie trail!! This was last summer, at the beginning before it turned beastly. We were on the new prairie trail and I stopped a couple of times to snap some pictures.

Wild thistle
As you can imagine, a "prairie" trail is very short on (a) shade and (b) trees. But it's not short on wildflowers and grasses. This thistle was just beautiful and in a clump of them. 

Our local park district has been diligent about ripping out the invasive stuff and putting BACK the native stuff. This prairie area has been planted with milkweed (hello Monarch Butterflies!!) and thistle and all the prairie grasses native to our area.

The wild garlic and other invasive stuff has been removed and they're keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't come back.

I mean, we're talking wild roses -- they're just not native to our area; they've been tossed into fields and of course, they germinate and take over. 

Honeysuckle is another noxious weed. Ok, my mom had some planted alongside the driveway as a "living fence" next to our neighbor. But she quickly changed her mind when Hubby actually sawed the stuff down to a one-foot-high stump.

And the next year, it grew 5 feet and blossomed. It's lovely. It smells nice. And it takes over!!

Well, this brings me to the end of this post. Let me know how you liked my selection. Maybe I should do this every quarter or so? 

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