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Showing posts from 2017

Golden Days

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The days here in Connecticut are still warm but the nights have cooled. We can still hear the peepers but the night time rhythm of the cicadas has slowed as the temperatures have dropped. Afternoon light has taken on a golden hue. The figs have turned pink on their way to burgundy red. Tomatoes are ripening more slowly and they are warm gold and sweet as honey. I'm working on my first wool applique piece called "Be Thankful" designed by Little Bits by Joan. My son, daughter-in-law and two of my grandkids are at Disney World in Florida riding out Hurricane Irma. I will be extremely thankful when they're home safe and sound.





Willow's Waltz - Official Music Video - The Gothard Sisters

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Feeling the Heat

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The dog days of summer are here for the next few days. No rain in sight. No cool fronts coming. I'm turning the sprinkler on the back garden to try to keep everything green and juicy but it probably won't be enough by the end of the week. Things are either spilling over pots and beds with jubilant growth or passing out from the heat before I can get water on them. There seems to be no in-between. The trees around our little plot are in need of a good trim. Shrubs and perennials around the house that were in full sun when I planted them are suddenly in partial to full shade, or so it seems to me. Just when everything looks like it needs the most attention from me, I need to sit down with a cool drink and my knitting. I sound like I'm complaining but I'm actually reveling in what's left of the last two months of summer.

Cool Blue

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I knitted the little hoodie sweater for my son's best friend's first baby - little "AJ". The shower was last Sunday. The pattern is "Hooded Cardigan 3898" by Sirdar Spinning using Sirdar Snuggly DK. It wasn't a difficult pattern but the instructions were written by a U.K. company for British knitters. I'm not an expert knitter but have enough experience to be able to get the gist of what the writer was talking about. For example, "commencing with the second row, work one inch of one by one ribbing". After picking up a couple hundred stitches around the fronts and hood, I figured out the direction I had to be going to get the button holes on the "boys side", as if that really matters....Patterns written in the US in 2017 would tell you to work one knit row, then start the ribbing. No matter, it came out fine, because I have many baby sweaters in my rear view mirror. I'm loving the cool blues right now because it's HOT HOT…

Feeding the Bees

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I'm linking up with Pam at Everyday Living's garden party.

Lavender Love

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You can grow all the lavender you want if you remember a couple of things. First, lavender must have full sun to be happy. Second, it wants very little water and will die if its feet are wet all the time. Third, don't be generous with the soil. Lavender doesn't want rich, loamy soil and prefers sharp, sandy, well-drained soil. If your foundation is dry and hot, living against warm brick or cement will be the perfect home for lavender. And a warm microclimate will keep your lavender cozier during cold, winter weather. Give your lavender a haircut in the spring to cut off dead branches. I didn't cut mine very much this year so I'll give it a good trim after its finished its first bloom. If you want to dry your lavender for sachets or culinary use, it's best to dry the buds just as they're beginning to open. Fully open, lavender is actually many tiny flowers with petals that will fall off instead of drying nicely in one piece. This plant was labeled "dwarf l…

Telomeres & Meditation

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I'm still reading The Telomere Effect, by Nobel Prize Winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD and Elissa Epel, PhD. I'm very aware that the excessive inflammation in my body, evidenced by a high CRP, causes shortened telomeres. My cardiologist advised me that this is due to the Multiple Sclerosis I've had for over 30 years. She agreed with the information I'd received from my naturopathic physician that MS patients tend to have more cardiovascular events. Shortened telomeres has been proven to cause premature aging, basically by physically disrupting DNA replication. Age alone will cause this to happen but it can also be caused by environmental conditions we can manipulate.
One of causes of shortened telomeres is stress and anxiety. Some of us (I'm raising my hand but you can't see me) ruminate. Cows ruminate when they chew their cud. I ruminate over big things but even little problems get into my head where I go over and over them. Rumination can then be translated a…

Potting Up 2

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Things are getting settled outside, bit by bit. The fig tree is out of the garage and leafing out well.  I can't seem to get enough bright flowering plants in pots this year. Maybe its all the rain we've had. Almost every day brings a downpour. The lawn has never looked better. There's so much intense green this Spring, I seem to want to balance it out with bright colors and I can't wait for Mother Nature. I'm giving her a nudge with wild colors everywhere. The colors aren't planned. I'm just grabbing bright neon colored flowers and popping them in pots and enjoying them. And that's what it's all about, right?







The Telomere Effect & Healthy Aging

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I've just started reading a new book I borrowed from my local library called The Telomere Effect by Nobel Prize Winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD and Elissa Epel, PhD. Pronounced tee-low-mere, these little end caps on our DNA are greatly responsible for the quality of the lives we lead. We, in effect, wear down these caps, however long or short there are to begin with, with each day we live. They are necessary for cell division as they kind of hold things together when the DNA replicates itself when the cell divides. Our old cells die and are replaced constantly by new cells. Telomeres also contribute small pieces of themselves in the process to keep our DNA from becoming damaged. There are many things about the length of our telomeres that we can control. Some we cannot. "Genetics loads the gun, environmental factors pull the trigger". Scientists have discovered that we have more control over the way we look and feel than we thought.
There are ways we keep our telomeres …

Happy Mother's Day!

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I have many things in my home that belonged to my grandmother. When I take them out of closets, cabinets or drawers to use them I think about her and how much I miss her. I had Gram in my life until I was 47 years old...I will not know the joy of watching my grandchildren pass into middle age...I had Gram past the time when she even knew who I was. This little vase has "made in Japan" printed on the bottom which, to me, indicates that it was from the 1950's. I remember that she stored it in the mudroom that opened to the backyard in a cupboard with other items of no importance. Will anyone care about my little "dime store" vase when I've gone on to the big garden in the sky? I hope so.



Potting up Begins

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From left to right:

Angelonia -  "Serena White", Coleus - "Redhead", Superbells - "Dreamsicle", Cape Daisy - "Margarita Sunset" in a plastic planter I bought quite inexpensively from Home Depot. I cut drainage holes and put a layer of sand in the bottom. They all require or tolerate full sun. It's very cool in Connecticut today but it's time to get going. We'll see how they do.

Do you Love Springtime?

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Ever consider it might be something other than the weather? I'm seeing yellow everywhere I look. I can't say I've ever loved the color. I might have even said I can't wear it. Can't live with it anywhere in the house - not on walls, furniture or even an accent pillow. But recently I've been obsessed with yellow since enjoying the dance scene from "Beauty and the Beast"....that yellow gown! Now I see it everywhere in nature and I'm looking for a way to add some sunny color to my life. Elderly, sick people and babies don't like it (too much actually makes babies cry!) Apparently, it's too stimulating and can be overpowering. However, yellow is considered an optimistic color. Ever notice how much yellow is in a perky "Get Well" arrangement? It's used for signage on streets and highways because it's more visible than white. It's been said to improve concentration - do you focus better when you use a yellow legal pad? That…