Please visit my new blog
Please visit my new blog
as in used to be, am again.
this weekend marks beginning of week seven
from baby steps - walking 30 minutes around the neighborhood, to walk/run on the nearby trail, and now running my miles.
a big step was last week - switching to the morning. as in 530 am alarm, out the door at 6 am. but the difference from running at night is so unbelievable that when that alarm goes off, the allure of that wonderful feeling post run propels me up and out. (yes me - the late night gal) which of course means by 8 pm i am ready for jammies and tv and am yawning off to bed by 10.
as for my time and pace, let's just say it's getting better week by week... working on not caring about stats too much but am so f#$# competitive even with myself that i do and well, thats ok. learning to let go and focus on putting the miles in.
great app that helps - runmeter (am in love with this app) and great tunes. opera was for evening runs; mornings have been bach with Yo-Yo.
lucky to have a great trail to run - both north and south of my village.
this morning took the north path that goes up to and thru an historic estate. for the most part from the village northward, this trail winds thru a very dense wooded area with trees arching overhead. nearing the estate, the trail opens from the cool green tunnel to the expansive green bright lawn. glorious today with the brilliant blue sky and cool winds (no humidity too!).
my usual route is south from my village - its a very popular and much wider and well trod trail; the northerly route is narrow in many places and has some bad spots near street crossings. its good to have two different ones to use to change up my runs.
your gratuitous rose photo
hmmm almost year since posting... well blame it on mobile devices and my work in the IT world - basically the last thing i want to do at night is sit in front of a computer - since i do that ALL day. and that my laptop died last fall... an accident involving a cat, a mug of tea and a small ikea laptop table that swayed a bit when the cat decided to jump on the laptop... up went the mug and down went the tea into the laptop. didnt save it in time. and well, couldnt justify the money to replace - as well i didnt as my desktop was fried by a power outage a few months later and that really was more important.
anyway... that was last fall and this is now. with a mobile keyboard and a tablet, and now a great blogging app, i am sitting on my patio listening to a broadcast of DER ROSENKAVALIER from last fall at the Weiner Staatsoper with Fleming, Koch, Tonc. This past wednesday was Strauss's 150th birthday and many classical stations celebrated in various ways - WQXR had two operas a day on their Operavore station, and a rebroadcast of the METs production from this past seasion. Radio 3 had lots of special programs. I decided to listen to this version as i have not heard Renee sing it in many years... it really is a touchstone role for her. and i am glad i am ... she sounds wonderful ... exquisite as always
unfortunately this gorgeous music is being played with a backdrop of very loud reggae and hip hop with lots of bass from the new tenants upstairs who are not paying any rent but working for the landlord in exchange. its not been a happy situation for me ... they are very loud and noisy. don't seem to have any sense of how what they do affects others in the world. i had to call them last night at 1115 and ask them to turn their music off... ugh. absolutely the worst tenants ever. (they also don't put out their garbage or recyclables and then they pile up etc.) oh and did i mention the aroma of a certain legal in colorado item?
its not that i mind any music being played - but this is EXTREMELY loud - as in the floor shakes ... really obnoxious... when it happens during a time i am listening to an opera i just turn up my volume ... annoying as hell. and yes i will have a conversation with them if it continues thru the evening and especially tomorrow. but i also suspect they are 'borrowing' my washer and dryer which is also alarming (i pay for the water and electricity) - but i am taking measures to deal with that.
oh well life in a small building - moving on.
its the most gorgeous day ever this spring/summer - we have had rain for the last five days - really good for the gardens - esp my roses which are the best ever - this is the eighth year of this garden and it has really matured. its also the first year i have not had to do much ... replenish the herb bed - the oregano, chives and strawberries survived the brutal winter-but nothing else... so the herbs were put in on Mother's Day and then i had redone one bed last fall -- so ordered from my favorite place GRACEFUL GARDENS some daisies and decided to try some foxgloves and hollyhocks in a new spot... so they went in Memorial Day weekend. and thats it. i may look for some more ferns at sales later to fill in some back garden spots.
anyway, i have never had so many roses in bloom... they are all outdoing themselves. and the clematis.. one in particular has never bloomed like this year.
more photos here
and now back to act three of ROSENKAVALIER and that sublime trio.
side note: i did watch the live/semi-live stream from Glyndebourne last Sunday - not crazy about the sets and costumes. found the singers good but the three women seemed a bit out of sync. maybe it was the cameras... enjoyed Kate Royal's portrayal but she needs to settle in a bit more. (her role debut). Ms. Erraught was fine (however it IS hard to dispell memories of Troyanos and von Stade),the Sophie was delightful. not as crazy about the direction and concept. i am glad i saw the MET's exquisite version before they retire it. (sigh).
Sitting on the patio. Morning latte. My beautiful homeysuckle transplanted this spring to a nice big pot all of a sudden is withering away. Sulking and drooping. Not sure what's going on. Photo to come. Must research.
Today's agenda includes the youngest nephews kindergarten graduation. Exciting. He Came over on Sunday to invite me. That was the day of the big fishing expedition. More of anon. And his elder brother saved his teams bacon by pitching out the best two batters in the month with bases loaded. Alas the younger and I were fishing off the shores of the Hudson while that momentous event occurred. (the younger not that interested in watching hours of baseball, the elder is in two leagues ... last weekend he had SIX games oi)
More anon. Dashing off to work.
our May weather has been abysmal for weekend gardening for those of us working for a living... two weekends in a row very rainy and then this past last weekend EXTREMELY hot and humid - hi 80-90 and very humid coupled with a few weeks of CRAZY BUSY times at work.
no heat relief from this past weekend until of course today after a HUGE front moved thru last night drenching everything and making this morning's preparing for work like living in a sauna. leading to lots of crankiness in this writer who does NOT do well in high heat and humidity (having had enough of that in Louisiana thank you)
and its way too soon to put in the window a/c units - they block the fresh air and the cats' perches on the window sills (taking up two of the three windows they can sit in and watch the outside world, in particular, birds and squirrels and the occasional night visit by the local possum and raccoons). not to say the huge cost of running them - even as efficient as they are and as frugally as they are used. they dont go in until the long heat waves of July and August.
however, it was a huge waste of a weekend - temps in the apartment reached 90 in the study and bedroom - being the two interior rooms with no windows - and thus sleeping was a disaster both fri and sat nites. sun nite was better with the bright idea borne from desperation to put a window fan in the window in the hallway across from the bedroom and thus bring in the cooler air during the all night rainstorm - humid but a bit cooler at least - and supplemented with another strong fan in the loft bed, the night was marginally better than the previous two albeit very noisy - although right now am really craving a nap. supposedly the front moves in this afternoon (its only 70 with humdity slightly under 60% so hope springs that it will be cooler tonight - prediction is low 50s ... please gods and goddesses of weather).
so while there was not much to do in the garden in the way of landscape or hardscaping after last fall's event, there is always ongoing maintenance and dealing with the things that were moved around (plants were moved in haste and plants are waiitng in pots to be planted in new homes). way behind now due to the aforementioned weather problems from the last few weekends, next weekend threatens rain on sat (50%) but sunday supposedly clearer,
fingers crossed there will be time next weekend to attend to the remaining surviving perennials and plan the very reduced herb garden (half of the herbs were destroyed last fall or didn't survive the winter uprooted and huddled in pots, space has been reduced by 2/3). if it rains next weekend, a day or half day off may have to be taken to deal with these plants before they give up.
just looking at this week's forecast, maybe a few after work sessions to catch up... once i recover tonight from the sleeplessness of the past weekend.
one sad side affect of this very hot weather so soon is the roses - there were many buds and they were progressing nicely when BAM the heat wave triple acclerated the bloom process... so from a tight bud on thursday then to a very open bloom on saturday - cut many late yesterday before the storm last night destroyed them totally -- unfortunately due to the high temps in my apt they are all almost done. so sad as i wait all year for these roses to bloom only to have them last one day. sigh. not a great start to the month.
more rose photos here
my sock is finally proceeding
as is my method of learning - i have ripped this poor sock out at least three times (not that i am keeping count) but that is how i learn - by practice... i dont see the point of abandoning half socks or socks that dont work out... so photos taken and then rip rip rip.
i was rather unhappy with the feel of the fabric of the recent attempt - it just felt too flabby and smushy and not right. this is SOCK IT TO ME Puzzle (discontinued but was a gift years ago before sock knitting seemed a possibility) was already knitting on size 1.
so i ripped yet again and went down to size 0 and ... now ! a sock that feels like a sock - nice tight fabric.... still only getting 7 st but it could be the yarn (sock it to me puzzle) so i am now at the heel AGAIN (will have this method memorized by the time i actually complete the second scok!
i am forging ahead even though i am getting tired of this colorway - the stripes are nice but i am ready to try another sock yarn.
i have been limited at starting with another yarn because of only having one set of size 0 needles... but that has been remedied ... and soon will be able to switch between two different socks. which will hopefully help with the oft mentioned second sock syndrome i have heard about.
and also looking forward to just knitting the sock instead of all this restarting - although i know that it has been part of the process. in effect i just knit three gauge swatches and three technique swatches. i dont mind the time, its not wasted, just ready to move forward to the next stage.
its fun perusing a new technique and for items that are practical - i hate store bought socks and have never had a pair of hand knitted socks so am looking forward to this. and to actually wearing my knitting.
i adore shawls, and have made quite a few about half and half in terms of giving and keeping, and wear them as i like. love sweaters but work in a very warm (temperature) office with no regulation temp wise so for the foreseeable future, am not planning much sweater making ... would like to knit a fair isle sweater because of the technique (love stranded knitting) but have to plan for that budget wise.
sock knitting seems to fit the bill for now.
will try to post photos of the latest incarnation shortly.
(wherein i document the progress of my first sock knitting)
how a sock starts (toe up).
i have discovered sock knitting.
it has started innocently . an impending gift and out of ideas of things to make (and time) decided to surf my stash and found a pair of SOCK IT TO ME and thought .. why not?
had ventured in this territory once before - one sock of the HEDERA pattern and for some reason abandoned it and have since frogged it - maybe because it was top down and so you start with tons of leg and i must have become bored.
the thing about a new knitting method and me is that i will (and have) spend(t) hours surfing and reading all i can stand about as much of the new method as i can find... and then of course it took hours to find a pattern that appealed and then was not too advanced - even though i am jumping in with all five needles -
and actually got as far as a heel.
but well, i didnt like the way the colors worked on the heel
so i ripped and ripped and then tightened up my tension - and researched some more.. and found a heel that people whom i admire recommend.
and well, its a sock. so NBD . i ripped and reknitted up to the heel and then last night turned the heel. (really cool BTW)
ok so there is pooling but its less rows and because its the blue stripes, it looks better IMHO.
so first heel completely completed (rather than done and frogged) and an inch beyond. so now comes the great question of what to do on the legs. i think i am going to stop and do the other sock to the same point and then work away at both to the grand finish.
Kingdom (that wonderful but cancelled series) helped during the anxiety of the first heel turning [this must be my third time watching it] i alternate watching a bunch of series depending on mood - last night was Kingdom and Single Handed (first viewing - although i started dozing off so will rewatch the first episode tonight) also working way thru George Gently, Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lewis, Spiral(French crime) and Borgen with Kavanagh QC being meted out slowly as John Thaw is dead so as to savour them all. there is a long list of comedies and dramedys (like Ballykissangel) that i cycle thru. some nights a little comedy is the thing to relax after a long day dealing with clients!
and since i know you are longing to see the WIP as of today - voila!
In comments to my 1–4–13 post re Downton Abbey, the DUCHESS OF DUKE STREET was mentioned by several writers, as being superior to DA.
In my thinking, that is one of the very best British TV Dramas that was produced during that wonderful time in the 70–80's along with UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS and a whole list of others – below is an incomplete list of my top favs.
To Serve them All his Days
Lillie (life of Lillie Langtry and the breakout role for Francesca Annis)
A Testament to Youth (with fabulous Cheryl Campbell)
MAPP and LUCIA (Prunella Scales and Geraldine McEwan
MULBERRY (Geraldine McEwan) not seen often in the states but available to order – do get it – the most quirky and delightful four person ensemble – created by the great team of ESMONDE and LARBEY (who went on solo to create A FINE ROMANCE (Dench and Williams and AS TIME GOES BY (Dench, Palmer etal) also created THE GOOD LIFE (P Keith, R Briers, F Kendal) and EVER DECREASING CIRCLES as well as a whole list of others
the Dorothy Sayers Harriet Vane-Lord Peter courtship triology – Strong Posion, Have His Carcase and Gaudy Night – with Harrier Walter (the perfect Vane) and Edward Petherbridge (still my first choice for LPW) too bad they ran out of money or time or whatever and didnt do Busmans Honeymoon.
the original Miss Marple series with Joan Hickson (while I admire Geraldine McEwan and Julie MacKenzie they were hampered with so many plot changes in their productions)
the unflappable and only Hercule Poirot which David Suchet has conquered so admirably – he only has four left to bring to production the ENTIRE CANON of Poirot stories!
other impeccable series – MORSE, SANDBAGGERS (Roy Marsden in a cold war thriller series about MI6), BERGERAC, POLDARK, the PD JAmes adaptations and yes, MIDSOMER MURDERS (while certainly formulaic they are all beautifully written each episode bringing to life another set of characters who need Barnaby to solve their murders and assorted problems)
the original SHERLOCK (with Jeremy Brett still the best SH)
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL (Robert Hardy and Peter Davison in breakout roles)
one must also mention I CLAUDIUS and THE FORSYTHE SAGA as groundbreaking early shows and of course BRIDESHEAD REVISITED.
other notables: FLAMBARDS, CAMPION, this is a frustrating post – it could go on for pages.
check these links for more ideas…
even tho its warm today, there is a cold front moving in saturday night. and all i can think about is knitting.
started back on a two year old project (oi) a lace shawl in a gorgeous red (long stewed in stash) last week - to give my hands something to do while watching season one of HOMELAND... now am almost out of yarn (and out of season one... waiting to get my hands on season two... torture)
this shawl pattern is one by one of my favorite shawl pattern designers - Evelyn Clark - this one is PRAIRIE ROSE LACE - here is the color... i LOVE it.
have wanted a red shawl for many years.. kept waiting for the RIGHT Red cashmere yarn. eh, life is too short. so i started this awhile ago (the last two years there has not been much knitting happening)
so the last week of september was rainy and chilly. inspiration enough to pull out this project - about half done - and get to it.
now i am feeling the old knitting yen percolating up ... and with a three day weekend (yah) have visions of sorting thru the stash (around the apt and in the studio in the basement) and gathering all the UFOs and WIPs that are in hiding - for a big sort and clear out to figure out what's worth finishing and what needs to be frogged.
may wait til sunday for this as saturday is supposed to be warmish as well... but once that cold front moves in... playing with wool wont be a chore.
now if i can only find a source of unedited* copies of the second season of HOMELAND without having to subscribe to showtime...
amazon is suspiciously quiet as to season two being available on instant video (purchase or rental). bummer. *CRACKLE is showing it with edits and VUDU which has the real version doesnt work with my ROKU box. yes i am obssessed with this show - and am figuring out when i can buy a new roku (mine is one of the originals).
will sign off with a photo of the garden with the crazy roses blooming...love that the begonias are still going strong.
and the latest garden project ...
do visit this wonderful blog …
lets start with this lively photo of Queen Elizabeth in her first official Diamond Jubilee appearance - this is the first time I have ever seen the Queen in RED and such a glorious red...and if you notice that hat - its KNITTED!!!!
and here is a closer look at that HAT! would love to see more .. but that is the best photo I could find.
* * *
some things happening finally for the better in this house... more to come soon as superstition reigns supreme ... until all is dotted and crossed and in place... suspense will continue.
* * *
in other news, what a weird winter - i do almost feel as if i am living in Louisiana again - i did treat myself to using the heat over last weekend - the first time in over three years (yes really) - its a new furnace and hopefully the bill wont be too much more (penny pinching still rules) but i
needed wanted to celebrate a bit and also had a few days off. so instead of a short trip decided to staycation and turn on the heat.
the cats were rather amazed that they didn't need to burrow under wool blankets or cuddle together (well, not really together - opposite ends of the sofa) how i envy them their fur coat sometimes - but not really this winter.
[side note - what happened to the Flickr app for chrome? its missing... I started this post using scribe fire and then went back to blog jet which never published the posts so now I am using windows live writer… and it seems to be pretty good.]
up there they are inspecting a new toy … which of course has disappeared… along with a few others
this week we are seeing temps in the mid 40s!!! in FEBRUARY!!! whew... i shudder to think of the summer if this is the winter
Where a Mother laid her Baby In a manger for his bed:
Mary was that Mother mild, Jesus Christ her little Child.
He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all,
And his shelter was a stable, And his cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly, Lived on earth our Saviour holy.
And through all his wondrous childhood He would honour and obey,
Love, and watch the lowly Maiden, In whose gentle arms he lay;
Christian children all must be Mild, obedient, good as he.
For he is our childhood’s pattern, Day by day like us he grew,
He was little, weak, and helpless, Tears and smiles like us he knew;
And he feeleth for our sadness, And he shareth in our gladness.
And our eyes at last shall see him, Through his own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle Is our Lord in heaven above;
And he leads his children on To the place where he is gone.
Not in that poor lowly stable, With the oxen standing by,
We shall see him; but in heaven, Set at God’s right hand on high;
When like stars his children crowned All in white shall wait around.
Words, CECIL FRANCES ALEXANDER
Melody, HENRY JOHN GAUNTLETT
Harmony, HENRY JOHN GAUNTLETT AND ARTHUR HENRY MANN
Arrangement, STEPHEN CLEOBURY
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
(available til Dec 31st)