good morning, october

a profusion of blue morning glories is startling the back yard with its reminder of heaven on earth.
 my daughter adopted just one blossom to bring the glory inside to her mum,

while outside the mums closer to the ground compete for color ~
(this photo hasn't been put through any filters)

and higher up, these brightly contrasting leaves climb this tree, 
delighting the view outside my window early every fall.
 it's like a celebratory announcement that my boyfriend's back in town 
(with his promise soon to be leaving me blissfully cold)

meanwhile, indoors the purple shamrock tenaciously continues
 to produce sweet blossoms despite the season.

by the end of the month the cupboard's usually pretty bare. 
as a result, we do some of our most creative cooking around here
and find there's always plenty to eat, despite appearances.
more proof of heaven on earth - hidden in plain sight?
(as "unseen" things so frequently are)

last night i whipped up this quick coffee cake, 
"simple to make, good to eat," stated the always sensible fanny farmer cookbook.
another gift from my girl - she found a "new" old edition at a rummage sale 
and wisely picked it up for a few cents.

we'd been sorely in need of a new one for years, as you can see.
it's been our most used cookbook (now in four or five or six parts!)
but don't think for a moment the new book will send her grandmother book out the door.
how could i ever do that to such a trusted old friend? 

happy october from me, more roadside gifts, and all things seen and unseen.


just getting warmed up

what was in the blue bowl today?

 porridge, free-of-self-esteem-issues variety

"the golden spurtle"? sounds vaguely pornographic.
i had no idea what it was and was a little afraid to find out...

och, no need to avert your gaze.
(unless, perhaps, you are scottish, and find this just too horrifying to concede)

so here's why this oatmeal feels so good about itself.
an olympics of oatmeal? so much i never knew about this humble (?) grain!

but i must agree that this porridge was juuuuust right.
i ate it allllll up, right out of this, my very favorite bowl.

usually i don't get attached to many material objects.

not to mention, kids + very unforgiving tile floor = deadly to dishes.

so i'm very careful only to purchase the very best dishes free from the side of road.
it's wedgewood made in Etruria
"the fourth and penultimate site for the Wedgwood pottery business"

 i always thought "penultimate" meant something like: 
"even more ultimate than ultimate" (and in the case of my bowl here, i'd agree to that)
but it really means "second to last".

that and this makes me feel a little sad...
 not only is my bowl not even more ultimate than ultimate,
(maybe not to you, "fourth" wedgewood pottery business)
this morning i noticed she has a threatening looking crack.

she shall henceforth be handled with extra care, like the lovely elderly lady she is.
(she's from england. she totally gets it when i talk like that.)

fall has most definitely arrived, and that means i'm happy 
and will stay happy until it gets hotter'n blazes again.

come what may, if there's a chill in the air, if the air's so cold ice crystals form in my lungs,
if layers of clothing and blankets and hot cooking are absolutely necessary,
nothing can get me down. it's like the opposite of seasonal affective disorder.

i've been warming us and our place up with mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and homemade pizza,
the woolens got taken out, and yesterday morning it was so cold, 
i had to wear leggings and slippers.
they've been much and happily worn...
not looking as fresh as they were in newer days:

the "marilyn monroe of nowhere'sville" shot

the "just happen to be sitting on a big rock in all these weird duds" shot

naturally the crisp air brings on the woolens-making frenzy.
there's nothing for it but to surrender. 
however, the scrap basket's pretty bare, and i'm ever in need of free wool.

the other day i as in luck when my daughter gave back a satchel i'd once made for her
(why on earth did i make it out of wool, you may well ask!)
so i unraveled it and started making these mitts.
that oughta cure the itch for a very small while.


the secret: keep going

chain 5

one of my former crochet students asked me via email for help starting a triangular shawl, 
and finding it tricky to explain in words over the internet, 
i decided to snap an impromptu step-by-step "photo-tutorial" for her. 
sharing it here, too, "for safekeeping." 

slip stitch into first chain to form a ring

three double crochets, one chain, and three more double crochets into the ring

turn the work around

chain three (counts as first double crochet), and two double crochets into first stitch 

double crochet into next three dc's

two double crochets, chain one, two double crochet's into hole

double crochet into next three dcs, two double crochets into hole, turn
continue on in this way, turning and increasing at each end, back and forth, 
until the triangle is as large as you want it to be.
it can become a shawl, half of an afghan, or anything else your imagination likes.
you can vary the stitches all along the way to add texture and interest.
keep going, and your mind's eye is sure to see infinite possibilities.
(kind of words to live by, i think.)


roadside junk

people are always leaving me treasures on the side of road!

it's really awfully nice of them.

i never know who these people are...

and i'm (pretty) sure they don't know me...

so i've been wondering how it is that they seem to know just what i like.

someday i'll get to the bottom of this mystery...
'til then, i'll just keep gratefully accepting the anonymous gifts.


how lucky

26 years ago

when i was 26 years young

a beautiful baby boy was born to me

i unscientifically knew for sure he was going to be a boy

 but i didn't know what to do with a boy.

i thought, "if he's artistic and funny, maybe i'll know what to do."

and for once in my life, BOY did my wish ever come true.

he's an artist, a punk rocker, a pro skateboarder, and
really and truly the funniest person i've ever met.
(proof: milk once literally came out of my nose from his making me laugh --
and that was when he was only 9.)

when he was 18 i let him get this, his first tattoo
of a logo he designed for his someday-in-the-future skateboard company
which he named "filth."

shortly after graduating from art school,
he painted a series of "fortune cats" 
to express something about the pressure an artist feels to "make money"
i don't have pictures of all of them
because some have been sold, and some he hasn't sent me yet.

last year i gave him a small ceramic fortune cat 
which i just happened to "luck" upon.
and this year, to mark two of my lifetimes 
and how fortunate i've been to have him
 i crocheted one for him, to add to his collection.

happy birthday