June . . . catching up . . . and still blaming Dani :-)

It’s hard to believe it’s been three weeks since I posted last. Stuff just got away on me. I’m ok, just frustrated in several areas. I’ve been thinking of moving to here, so I could get back to ‘normal’ any time I liked.  😉

It’s only fair to warn you, though: this is a very, very looooonnnnnnngggggggggggggg post and you may want to clear your calendar for the morning, then fill your bucket of tea before commencing reading . . . just sayin’  🙂

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Boomdee asked what we liked best about June and I’d have to say the photo above is my answer: deliciously cool. misty. moisty weather! Finally, the spring I have been hoping for for years! I’d nearly forgotten about Steeleye Span until recently, so am enjoying them again. This is an old nursery rhyme that I’ve always liked.

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Ice in May.

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Amazing cloudy skies through June this year . . . sorry, I was going to make them into a slide show, but imported everything and feel too lazy to remove and re-import 🙂

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One morning we woke up to real mist! Was I happy!!

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More amazing skies!!

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Just what I needed, eh? I found these for peanuts at a mall table run by a woman from the Philippines and her husband.  The first time I met her, a few years ago, they had a large butter churn, much like the crocks used for making pickles and such, with its wooden dasher intact, along with the lid. I can’t tell you how much I long for that churn. Of course, it wouldn’t do me much good just now; I don’t know anyone with a cow. One day, though. She knows I want it and now it’s kept at her house ‘so it won’t get chipped’; I think she’s waiting for my lotto ship to arrive . . . me, too!  😉

So on the left is a salt spoon, to be used with a salt cellar (usually one was set at each place at the table); in the middle a lovely wee butter knife and on the right an old Gerber baby spoon. So maybe this is a sign that there is a baby in my future?  🙂

So, if you haven’t been here for a while (don’t blame you; I haven’t been here for a while, either!), you may not be aware of the gorgeous Bavarian crochet afghan addiction being fostered by Dani of the Teddy and Tottie blog. Bit me, but good!

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Number two afghan, done and dusted! This took me a week of pretty steady crocheting.

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Remember this one? This was number One afghan. It took me about a week and a half.

And now for something completely different . . . (well, maybe not completely different):

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This is number three Bavarian afghan and it’s nowhere near done! It’s a long story and a longer afghan . . . I made the first afghan to use up two huge balls of acrylic yarn I’d given to my Aunty for knitting tuques or scarves, but she’s not knitting anymore and besides, felt the large balls were too intimidating, so she gave them back to me. Of course, once I saw how lovely these afghans are, I decided I’d make one for each of my five and a half grandkidlets. This meant, of course, that I would have to purchase more large balls of yarn. Two for each afghan, in fact. I did have a couple in my stash, which helped, but not the colours I planned for the kidlets . . . so I picked up a few lovely colours over a few visits to The Store I Will Not Name. But they were out of white; No worries, I’m patient. After a few trips I wasn’t quite so patient anymore, though. The second afghan was nearing completion and I had all these colours just begging for white . . . What to do? Well, Mrs. Crafty took me to a larger venue of TSIWNN, where we found only beige, no white . . . Now what? Ok, off we went to The Craft Store I Will Not Name, where we found large balls of white yarn . . . but not quite the size I needed. I bought four balls anyway, thinking it might work. Nope, they don’t! In the meantime, my Mum had found a ball of lovely purple. Now this was the same brand I’d been using up / buying, same label, same gauge, everything, it said . . . except that in fact it was a far lovelier texture and a smaller diameter yarn. Grumble, grumble, grumble . . .

Still, it worked alright with the white yarn that I hadn’t returned, so I began this:

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Hard to tell, but that dark colour is a gorgeous purple; much like a dark pansy. I think it may end up being a  ‘keeper’. Like I need more ‘stuff’, right? Oh, well . . . 🙂

And then I started afghan number three (above), using the colours I had in stock, but with the white centre. If I find any white yarn in time, I’ll incorporate a couple of white rounds farther out. So this one, being in the same style, but with such a different colour combination of colours, is going to be much larger and will be a gift to my son and daughter-in-law so that they have one that matches those of the kidlets.

So you see, I am using up my stash . . . I can hear you laughing, you know . . .

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. . . and more amazing skies . . .

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those are all of the Happy Hibiscus, which has borne and lost at least six blossoms to date and still has seven buds and maybe more . . . I’ve had this plant since 1991 and this is the first year I’ve had more than two blossoms . . . maybe my pruning a few weeks ago scared it into trying to be more attractive . . . whatever the reason, I’ve been rejoicing in these lovely blooms, short-lived though they are.

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Anyone familiar with the term Honey Moon? No, not the post-wedding variety . . .

Give up? Well, it’s what they call a full moon that occurs on a Friday the 13th. For some reason, Mum’s computer is acting up; the screen going suddenly black, then a message that the drivers failed, or some such, then it returns to ‘normal’ (no, not the town!); ’til the next time, anyway. I thought I wouldn’t be able to give you the link to this, but after I hit it with a rock re-booted it, it resumed working as if it were ‘normal’. Ha! I am not fooled . . .

Anyway, I missed seeing this, thanks to  those clouds I’ve been so thankful for, and I likely won’t be here to see the next one, but this photo gives you a good idea . . .

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Thought we were done with sky photos, did you?  🙂

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Three birdhosues painted and decorated by Mrs. Crafty for her son’s garage. Cute, eh?

On Thursday (the 26th) I spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. Crafty, helping their son and his fiancée to move. They have sold the wee old house that he bought five years ago and has renovated with the help of his talented parents, and they have bought a home in a better neighbourhood, near a small shopping centre and a school. Next year they are getting married and after that plan to begin their family. She’s very crafty, too, and a lovely young lady. We had a long, but productive day with five people, two cars, an open backed pickup with a trailer plus a truck with a canopy. I’m not sure how many trips we made. After seven pm another son in law arrived home and brought his truck to help as well. It was good to have two strong young men when it came time to bring things like the freezer up from the basement . . . I’d forgotten what a 35-year old can do and still have energy for pull-ups from the garage rafters . . .  I was picked up at 8:30 am and got back home just before midnight, but we stopped  for pizza around seven and after that there wasn’t much I could help with. I pulled a muscle in my left knee somehow about three weeks ago and then spent three days flat on my back to give it a chance to heal. It seems to be doing ok now, though. Still, by evening on moving day I needed a hand to get up off the low-slung futon couch . . . I hate that! I couldn’t help remembering back when I had horses and could jump on bareback so easily . . . in fact, once I was teaching a city friend how to do it and of course showing off just a bit . . . I swung up and over and landed flat on my back on the ground on the other side . . . I still get a laugh out of that memory . . . Pride and all that. eh?

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The new place has a huge garden, which I not-so-secretly lust after . . .

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Lovely yellow roses at the new place . . . with the most aromatic lemony scent; I wish I could add ‘smellies’ here sometimes . . .

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The skies were so impressive that evening . . . someone actually asked me if I had just gotten a smartphone, I took so many photos . . . only to share with you, of course 🙂

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Some of you will remember these two when they were much younger . . . two of Mr. and Mrs. Crafty’s grandkidlets; they came to supervise as their parents helped move stuff.

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This bench was given to the young man by my mother when he bought the house. It used to be a park bench, I was told, but had been loaned to friends on one ofmy sisters for an indoor bench. Then it was put out in the yard and lost all its varnish and paint. Now the wood is quite weathered. The fiancée plans to do a bit of restoration on it, but sadly it will never be what it once was.

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Lovely young hands . . .

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Oh, my! What are these? 🙂

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I love that blue in the evenings . . .

and the Maxfield Parrish blue that follows, ever so briefly . . .

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. . . and a lovely silhouette of a lovely tow and a half year old . . .

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While hauling boxes, somehow I broke my index fingernail in two places, both cracks going right into the quick. After two bandaids were applied and lost in short order, I became resourceful and turned to duct tape. Worked for me . . .

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Not a very clear set of photos, but these were a handful of lilacs picked by the ‘Awesome’ young man who is pictured above. Picked especially for me to take home and share with my Mum. One of my favourite spring blossoms . . .

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After a day of taking it easy, today I was packing up my own things, to be moved to the storage unit downtown.  A great deal, but not all, of my current frustration comes from having to deal with a condo board that simply has no care for health and safety, but is very invested in how things look, even if we are the only ones doing the looking . . . Instead of waiting until Mum either dies or moves out to repair all the ceilings that are stained from a series of leaks (the roof had been repaired, but not well; it took several years before the board broke down and had a new roof installed), we have been told that all the ceilings are to be scraped, then new texture applied and after that, paint. This means that we need to move much of our belongings out so as not to impede the workmen. So we are boxing up Mum’s things to go out on the balcony and I will just take my stuff to the storage. Apparently the board chairman has said that we ‘have too much stuff’ in the place. No thought for our situation or that we are willing to be somewhat inconvenienced so as to stay near to my Aunty, who is Mum’s older sister.

It’s not as though we have stacks of rotting newspapers; then I could see the concern. No, we have looms (several, but only one small one set up), supplies for weaving, knitting, crochet, beadwork, painting (fine art and folk art), embroidery, sewing, quilting (including a quilting frame designed and made by my Dad), also Mum’s keepsakes from over 90 years of receiving gifts and collecting things of interest, beauty and usefulness.

Books, of course, and finished items. Some antiques from the days when Mum and Dad bought, refinished, repaired, then sold them on, keeping the things they fancied the most. It’s hard to imagine living a full life and not having anything to show for it.

I asked the landlady to find out from this man exactly how many items we are allowed to have, as ‘too many’ is so vague . . . we don’t think we have too much; and we don’t expect others to have what we have. Each to their own taste, we say.

Well, apparently not . . . so I will be removing nearly all my things and putting on hold my plans to make more items for the store. I’m going to bring back Mum’s things from the storage unit we share, then empty my smaller unit into it, so as to have only one.

I wish some of you lived near to me; I will be giving away  some of my supplies. I gave Mrs. Crafty nearly a full blue recycling bag of fancy yarns on our last visit, but there is much still to part with. It’s quite disheartening, really, but needs must, as they say . . .

I know some will have wondered at my sudden silence through this month. I meant to post an explanation, but simply had no heart for talking about it all. I’m getting over it now, though. just another stage, I think. There was more than my personal stuff, though. I felt very affected by the 70th anniversary of D-Day this year, that same week, three young RCMP officers were shot and killed by a mentally ill young man. I was so incensed by our prime minister’s words at the funeral, where he talked about ‘evil’. This from a man who has removed nearly all the protection we’ve had for our waterways for many decades . . . who has allowed some of our resources to be sold outright to China, who has entered, on our behalf, into a contract with China that we cannot break for many years . . . and so on . . . His lack of compassion for the killer and his parents, who had warned the police and had asked for something to be done to stop their son, but who were told that nothing could be done until he ‘did something’. I can only imagine what they are going through now. I know how I would be feeling if it had been one of my sons and I had been unable to avert the tragedy.

So, all in all, a rather sad and discouraging month for many reasons, yet with the eternal hope of spring and youth breaking through nonetheless. After all . . .

cat that one friend

One positive thing I did this month (after wearing my jeans ’til the side seams were parting company) was to buy several pairs of new jeans and T-shirts to match. Clothes may not make the woman, but I actually enjoyed the shopping once I figured out where stuff was. In, pick things up, go pay, get out . . . my idea of perfection when it comes to clothes. Now, book shopping, or tools, materials, anything like that and I can be in the store for hours . . . 🙂  I’ve been known to get into the bookstore, find a book I can’t afford, sit on the floor in one of the aisles (yes, I know, inconsiderate to other customers, but I’m at the mercy of books at all times) and just get lost in the story . . . When I found out that The Secret Garden wasn’t the only book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett; that The Little Princess was still in print, I visited my favourite bookstore in Victoria (BC) every week and read a chapter each time. The staff were all readers and understanding, so I was never bothered about my odd habit.

6 million people U need one

While packing, I ‘found’ a piece of black fabric with a pattern of small pink roses that I’d meant for a long dress. So while out with Mrs. Crafty looking for white yarn in TSIWNN, I bought two metres of plain black cotton which will become the yoke and perhaps the sleeves, with the rose-patterned fabric forming a collar and cuffs as well. I have some black velvet that was meant for the bodice, but ah hour of searching at the storage unit only yielded a dark purple velvet, so I’m resorting to the cotton. When I find the black velvet, it will be used to make short vesty sort of garment to wear over the dress. While looking for the velvet, I also found a box with some of my patterns in it; that box is now waiting for me in Mr. and Mrs. Crafty’s attic.

4 out of 3 people Math 01 Love this!

I just looked over this post and am a bit appalled to see that the photos are all bunched up and then there’s this long bit with no pictures at all. Sorry about that. No time to fix it properly and if I don’t post tonight, who knows when I’ll get back to it? Besides, there are comments waiting for my attention . . . 🙂

  being an adult not working so me . . . 🙂

In case you are missing the music, here is a link to one of my favourite spring songs:

The Lambs in Springtime, sung, of course, in Scottish Gaelic by my favourite rock band

. . . and a rousing version of An Sabhal Aig Neill, performed at the Hebridean Celtic Festival held in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis on 17 July, 2010. Sung by Runrig and accompanied, then followed by, the Drums. If you love drumming, give it an ear . . .

And, on the subject of challenging days . . .  The Bricklayer’s Song by  The Corries.

Thanks for listening (if you are still with me after all that . . .). I feel better now.  🙂

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19 thoughts on “June . . . catching up . . . and still blaming Dani :-)

  1. That was a long post! Good to see the photos and different shades of colour. The blue colour was lovely. The corporate people sound obnoxious! Who are they to say how much is too much?? Painful…
    Good to read your post. I hope you don’t encounter too much grief to come. Sending warm and foggy vibes 😀

    • Robbie, sorry this has taken me so long to respond to . . . I love that there is an actual town called ‘Normal’ . . . doubt I will ever live there, though, not even figuratively speaking . . . abnormal is the new normal, I think. LOL ~ Linne

      • I totally understand…been a busy summer here too:-) It is called Normal, Illinois and next to Bloomington, Illinois. One of our State Universities is in that Town called Illinois State University. Our old college stoming ground myhusband and I…but in the middle of a corn field-lol

  2. You HAVE been busy with that camera haven’t you! Here I was thinking that I was going to knock out some of my RSS Feed Reader today and I get to “A” and blow it 😉 Oh well, can’t think of a better place to blow my RSS Feed Reader allowance (and with my nose in a bucket of tea, how could I resist? 😉 ). LOVE those little spoons, all of them gorgeous and lust-worthy :). Throw in a few bowls and I would be dead jealous of your finds ;).

    I had a surprise birthday week this week. Found out that a friend that I walk Earl with in the morning’s brother had a birthday on the same day that my ex and my brothers birthday fell on so made him a big chocolate cake then the day after one of the “ladies” (HA) that I go out to lunch with once a month was having her birthday so I knitted (yes…narf knitted!) a pair of long gauntlets for her and Stevie-boy made her one of his lovely smooth wooden spoons (as narf was worried that her sad attempt at knitting might fail, always good to have a back up plan 😉 she got both 🙂 ) and we have been racing around learning how to use Adobe Illustrator to satisfy our lecturer who is AWOL on holidays at the moment so NO idea why we are racing around, should be putting our feet up and doing sweet bugger all but you know narf and her OCD and where narf goes, poor Stevie-boy gets dragged backwards through the hedge as well 😉

    Haven’t even got TIME to contemplate Ms Dani’s amazing Bavarian but am collecting patterns for how to use it and tutorials in Tunisian crochet as well so one day…ONE DAY I will get to try it :). Now this time I AM dead jel! Look at that gorgeousness!!! I finally learned how to do that back post front post stuff (made what was SUPPOSED to be a wristlet in crochet but what turned out to be more like a Dr. Who dalek using the stitch…needless to say I frogged it and turned it into knitted gauntlets 😉 ) so I won’t be too daunted by this magnificentness but just have to find the time to do it now among all of the other magnificent crochet and knitting things that are flooding in my direction including a pattern for how to knit Early boy his own doggie jumper…Can’t WAIT to do that. Might even copy Ernies (of Sesame Street Ernie and Bert fame) jumper as we call Earl “Ernie” to Bezial’s “Bert” ;). Can you see me walking Earl in a smart new knitted jumper? No? Neither can I! Walking would be the last thing on his mind as he would be more interested in “GETTING THIS THING OFF OF ME!!!!” 😉 Now THAT would be a good blog photo 😉

    I really love number 3 afghan. I love the colours and Ms Pauline is going to love them too :). That little hibiscus just doesn’t stop does it? 🙂 I love it’s tenacity

    I bow to Ms Crafties abilities. LOVE those bird houses :). Stevie-boy is too busy to be making bird houses at the moment but once he stops he can settle down to do ALL of the things that I have on a big long list for him. Won’t he be SO pleased? 😉

    Stevie-boy is with you on the duct tape. He just duct taped up his wallet “don’t need a new one, this one will do just fine now!” ;). He also liquid nailed up the guttering (that HE put a hole in with his new pressure sprayer mind you) so just sayin’ if the duct tape doesn’t work… 😉

    We heard about that tragedy and I am with you on feeling SO bad for his poor parents who tried to stop him. We had our own little Tasmanian tragedy a year or so ago when parents tried to get help for their son who went on to kill them both a week or two later after help was denied. Seems like we are willing to spend a fortune incarcerating these mentally ill people but not in preventing them from harming themselves and others. Madness eh? SO sorry you are having more problems with the board…sounds like a group of small minded wanabe neo nazi’s to me. Nothing like a group of self important people forming a board to cause no end of trouble for everyone else is there? Sigh… Hopefully you get it all sorted out soon and you are right to ask how much is too much. How the heck are YOU supposed to know what someone else considers “too much” unless they tell you???!!!

    Spring breaking through? I thought you had summer now! I needed a bucket and a half for this post. VERY long but most welcome too :). Have a wonderful “spring” day Linnie and I will be sitting here yelling at my PC about how bolshie it is being in not helping me with my studies 😉

    • No time to do this comment justice, Narfie my friend, but it’s most welcome. That Bavarian goes very quickly once you ‘get’ it. Very good for doing in the car on longer trips, too, I’d think. Just remember that the corners are a wee bit different from the sides and do COUNT! 😉

      Love that ducty wallet; a man after my own heart (and musical, too!) Lucky he’s too young for me . . . 😉 and not Scottish 😉 😉

      Lovely rain again today and cool enough (with lovely high breezes) that we kept the doors and windows closed last night. Nice to have something to be happy about 🙂 Hugs to you, Narfie! ~ Linne

      • 🙂 Hugs right back atcha Linnie and as an Aussie Prime Minister of great renoun once said “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” now THERE was a Prime Minister I could vote for 😉

      • Ah, yes; I love it in the ‘Latin’: “Illegitimi non carborundum” (don’t let the bastards grind you down). Feel free to borrow and use as appropriate (or not . . . appropriate, that is)/ I’d vote for him, too!! Heck, I’d even contemplate immigrating for him . . . 🙂

      • He isn’t our Prime Minister any more. Too old now (off gallivanting around the world at tax payers expense 😉 ) but he also said, when he heard that some bosses were going to fire workers who didn’t turn up the day after we Aussies won the America’s cup (yachting) years and YEARS ago, that “anyone who fires someone because they don’t turn up today is a BUM!” 😉 Love you Bob Hawk. They don’t make megalomaniac narcissists like they used to 😉

      • Oh, I think I am in love! A hawk, too! 🙂 He was so right! Bosses need to cultivate a sense of humour, too (and condo board chairs as well, and I don’t mean the furniture . . .) Weren’t the bosses out celebrating, too? I wonder how many of them came in?

  3. Well it’s 11:26pm here my time and I should be in bed but meh. 🙂

    Good to see you back blogging as you have been missed and so sorry to hear it has been a rough month too. I know those times are best spent hibernating and making. Good therapy in making things. I’ve been hooked on the needles again 😉 and even pulled out a hook too. I really MUST learn to crochet.

    Isn’t fog and mist just beautiful. I love a good thick fog. It’s so nice, feeling so enveloped and closed off from the rest of the world. Where we live, a heavy mist will block out view of all the houses to the north, leaving only the houses across the street (2) and our next door neighbour. 😀

    Here’s to hoping the next month is a vast improvement on the last. Email me if you’re up for another skype. It was so lovely speaking with you and I’m so sorry it was such a rush.

    • Yeah, neither of us always does what we ‘should’, eh? Mum and I were up to 4:30 am Saturday night; the sun was rising as I climbed into my bed.

      More on the month to come in a post as soon as I finish with the comments. Good therapy, indeed; looking forward to pictures or your work, too. Crochet is easy and if you learn only the basics, you will be able to manage the Bavarian afghan. Dani, Narfie and I can all help you if needed. And Pauline, too; she’s completed a simply lovely one with five (I think) colours; looks perfect in her lounge.

      Yes, I have always loved the look of fogs and early morning mists. Maybe it’s why I love those dry ice stage shows that were so popular in the 80s (oh, yeah, you won’t remember those, will you? 😉 hahaha) It makes the world so private and mysterious, doesn’t it?

      Next month not looking like fun at all (see post if I can get to it today), but thanks for the wishes. Knowing people care is a great fortifier.

      I’d love another Skype, but today is not good; I’m still emotional and not sounding too positive . . . I know I need to be stronger in that, but I’m not. It was lovely speaking with you, too; you sounded just as I expected. The rush was entirely ok; young family are just a wee tad demanding at times. Especially feeding times! I’m back at my Aunty’s early Wednesday morning, so Skype will likely not happen ’til my next week upstairs and then will depend on my schedule. Something to look forward to, though . . . thanks so much. Big hugs to you, too, my friend. ~ Linne

  4. What an emotional month, Linne! Where do I start? I love the garage birdhouse. (Going to store that pearl away for the future). As for condos – they never seem to be a good idea to me. The collective doesn’t always see fit to spend the money where it’s needed. I hope all went well with the move and you can have a more relaxed July. Oh, and “Ice in May” – well, I’ve never heard that one. That sounds like a joke (for a Louisiana native)! xo

    • Emotional, indeed! and July promises much more of the same, unfortunately. But when one has priorities, those rule, so I must bend and attempt to appear conforming, even though my heart will always be black and bolshie . . .

      I was at the Crafty Couple’s place most of yesterday and passed on your compliment, which Mrs. Crafty appreciated.

      Nope, condos are never going to be for me . . . even more so after today (see post later). They work for those who like the safety of conformity and who value appearance above all, including safety. But the world is changing and people will soon have to wake up to reality.

      The move (the Crafites’ son and fiancée) went well; my own is to come, though. Not moving entirely, but I’ll post in a while.

      Here in Edmonton, they have had snow in every month of the year, although summer snow doesn’t last long, sometimes only hours. I’m glad it sounds like a joke to you; you are fortunate to live in a climate conducive to growing things and being outdoors. Well, we can be outdoors all year here, too; it’s just the incessant putting on and taking off of so many layers, and then there’s the wind driving the icy snow into our faces (only on the worst days, though). Ah, well, I was well and truly spoilt by living most of 30 years near the sea, where snow didn’t come some years and usually lasted only a week or two. And not much of it, either. We had a four-foot snow every decade or so, and that would last up to three weeks, maybe a bit more. Not a big deal.

  5. Well!….you made up for lost time didn’t you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

    Love all the photos, love your wee cutlery purchases, love your afghans, love the picture and quote of the 3 cats, love the gorgeous bird houses – this was an enjoyable read 🙂 I am sorry to hear of your sorrow as well though Linne, I had wondered if you were ok. I haven’t much myself, just enjoying some down time and quiet 🙂

    Good luck in moving your stuff, always a big job but imagine if you really were moving to Normal! 🙂

    • Wendy, I can’t believe your are up and reading this! It’s 3:06 am as I type . . . I forget the time difference but it must be evening where you are, eh?

      Glad you enjoyed the visit. There’s been a lot going on, but not all worth typing about. Moving to Normal . . . well, that ain’t gonna happen, figuratively or otherwise . . . 🙂 too late for this old hippie . . . yes, the good bit is that I will be packed ready to move to wherever comes next . . .

      Glad you’re getting the down time . . . you’ll be all rested up and raring to go come springtime, right? 😉 Mind you, I thought I would be, too . . . hmmm, careful with throwing those stones, I says to meself . . . Have a great day tomorrow, Wendy!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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