Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Sunday, January 27, 2013


My former mother-in-law, Judy, died in her sleep early Friday morning. She would have been 80 this coming Tuesday, and I met her when I was just 17 years old. She and I had our differences over the years, as in-laws are wont to do, but I always loved her. I think in many ways, she was ahead of her time, and because of that, she taught me so much about how to enjoy life. Because of her, I learned that it was a good thing to treat yourself well. She taught me that it was a good idea to have snacks whenever you are taking a road trip or just going on a Sunday drive. Judy loved movies, especially the classics, but she would drop everything to see a new one too. She taught me that staying in your pajamas for the day was sometimes the best thing to do, and that having a little chocolate on hand was never a bad thing. She loved the beach, listening to jazz and classical music, reading, playing golf, and traveling anywhere. Judy loved her friends and family, especially her children, and grandchildren. And she loved a cold Diet Pepsi.

She was liberal in her politics and put her beliefs in action. Judy gave many hours of her time to troubled adolescents, as well as the friends her children brought home or played ball with, treating them much as she treated her own children, which is to say she gave good advice, listened to what they had to say, and then loved them even when they didn't listen to her or do what she said. She coached sports long before I knew her and she could play a terrific round of golf, well into her fifties or sixties. But she loved her husband, Jake, for sixty years, and when he died in June, Judy lost her best friend. Despite being surrounded by loving friends and family, the light went out of her life. She didn't mope around, or complain, or get depressed, but not a day went by without her missing him.

Those of us left behind will miss her terribly, but I am better for having known her.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gracie Girl

Thank you everyone, for your encouragement about Gracie. She is still scared, but showing gradual improvement. She spent some time in the cat cave I made for her out of felt and polar fleece, pattern link here, she's allowed me to pet her a bit, and she's done a little exploring when we aren't around, but she has spent the majority of her time under the bed. This morning, Steve and I went out for coffee and scones, and when we came back, I couldn't find Gracie. Turns out, she was in the sunroom, under the couch. Feels like progress to me! I'm sure I'll have to leave the house so she can make her way back to her room, but that's okay. Baby steps.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This May Be A Cat Blog

I'm so worried about my shy and sweet Gracie. She found a new hiding spot today, on one of the craft hutch shelves, in a basket filled with some hand knit items. I knew she was a smart kitty.

See how she is avoiding eye contact? I think she's hoping I can't see her. I love her so much already, my little Gracie cat.

Monday, January 14, 2013


She's here, but she's oh, so shy. So happy to have her.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Despite my plan to Use it or Lose it, I bought a ridiculous amount of yarn last weekend.

Two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft, in Soot.

Two skeins of Stonehedge Fiber Mill Crazy.

One skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co.

One skein of Miss Babs Yummy Monochrome.

One skein of The Fiberists Audobon Sport, in Spanish Moss.

Speaking of the Use It Or Lose It challenge, I finished my second project, the Later, Gaitor cowl, made out of Malabrigo Slky Merino. Gave this one to my new knitting friend for her birthday, since she loved the color so much.

The vintage dress form that Melissa gave Meredith for Christmas. There wasn't enough room in the car, so I get to keep it for awhile. It's modeling a number of shawls for the moment.

My new favorite space, the craft room. I hung thrift store curtains to hide the supplies on the shelves of my curbside find. Isn't it awesome and cheery?


A lovely photo that Looped had on the landing outside of their second story yarn shop. Such a great picture, don't you think?

And a yarn bombed parking meter, on the street in front of the shop. Patriotic colors for the nation's capital, of course.


But the best news I have for you is this:

Meet Gracie, my first very own cat! She is a 2 year old tabby from a local humane shelter, and she is coming home with me on Monday! She has to get a few booster shots before they release her to me and no matter how many times I promised to bring her back for her shots, they won't let me have her until Monday. Oh, Gracie, I can't wait!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Washington Weekend

Steve gave me a weekend in DC as one of my Christmas gifts, and so we drove up on Saturday morning. We had gorgeous weather, sunny and brisk, but perfect for walking a lot, which we always do when in DC.

(Warning: link heavy paragraph)

We didn't have too many things planned, as it was just one night, but we managed to fit in quite a lot. We went to KramerBooks & Afterwards for lunch, and then shopped at Looped, which was right across the street. It was on the second floor of an old building and the natural light and old wood was the perfect setting for some beautiful yarn. I bought two skeins of handspun yarn, and some buttons to finish up a cowl.

We spent an hour or two at the National Cathedral, which included seeing their crèche collection from around the world. After popping into a thrift store, then browsing the aisles of Politics and Prose, we ate dinner at a cool Mexican restaurant, and then we checked into our suite at The Churchhill, a luxury hotel near DuPont Circle. After sleeping in on Sunday, we ate brunch at Teaism, a quirky little place nearby, before walking over to visit The Phillips Collection, an art museum that is housed in an old mansion. It was an amazing collection of mostly modern art, including Renoir's, Luncheon of the Boating Party, a couple of paintings by Georgia O'Keefe, at least four Rothko paintings, and the Migration series by Jacob Lawrence. We spent the rest of the day walking the streets in the Kalorama neighborhood and taking pictures of as many of the embassies as I could, before heading to Alexandria and fibre space. After buying some more lovely yarn, we drove home in time to see the premiere of the third season of Downton Abbey. All in all, a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

Enough talking, here is the good stuff, in no particular order:

Panda statue in someone's front yard.


An Irish patriot, and Steve, an Irishman.

Statue of St. Jerome, in front of an embassy.

A friendly embassy cat.

An embassy's coat of arms. Ghana, maybe?

Private residence yard art.

Interesting blue door.

Kalorama street art.

Artist plein air supplies.

Statue of Ghandi, near the Indian Embassy.

The Phillips Collection statuary.

The original entrance of the Phillips Mansion.

Phillips Collection statue.

Steve and the Phillips Collection courtyard.


Georgia O'Keefe

Stained glass in the museum, part of the original mansion.

View from the Spanish Steps.

Day of the Dead masks in the Mexican restaurant.

More Day of the Dead, with twinkle lighting.

National Cathedral stained glass.




National Cathedral entrance.



See you soon.