Monday, June 30, 2014

Taking Stock Part II

So I went back and looked at some of my posts from the first of the year to see what I wanted to do for the year. I only have one more day of Mercury in retrograde to blame on my lack of forward motion.  Looking back seemed like the thing to do.

2014 was going to be a year of sewing and knitting.  2014 has been a year of moving and non-routine!  And the new place doesn't have a dedicated sewing room, so I have to plan any sewing that I do.  Because of the move and family upheaval, I decided that this year was not a year for taking the Judy Niemeyer retreat.  Maybe next year.

Anyway, I had planned to do this in 2014 and completed only a couple of things:  

  • fingerless mitts - 2 sets - 1 set almost done
  • white scarf for Savvy
  • blue and purple shawl
  • "Joy" quilt (BOM at LQS)
  • Fractured Grinch - top done, now for border and backing
  • Savvy's bag - partially complete
  • One Block Wonder Quilt
  • Tula Pink City Sampler Quilt
  • Owl quilt
  • Alphabet blocks - need stuffing and finishing 
  • Kayden's curtains - done, but now she doesn't need them
  • 2 'panel' quilts
  • animal blankets
  • Geisha Art Quilt
  • Mariner's Compass Quilt
  • Wandering Star Quilt
  • Cross Stitch Christmas stocking
  • BOM from 2013 to finish
  • Scrap Quilt
  • Disappearing 4 Patch quilt
  • Spicy Spiral table runner
  • Monkey Hat
  • Quilt in a Tin
  • Asian Quilt kit
  • Dotted Art Quilt
With sewing being on the back burner for now, I have added a Dr. Who and mini-Who scarves for MisCon next year.  Those are progressing nicely.

I have been doing more posting recently.  And also have signed up to be a regional leader for NaNoWriMo for 2014 in the Helena area.  Big commitment on my part, if accepted. Also, Savvy is moving to Montana on the 1st of August.  It has meant cleaning out Lady K's room, which she never used, for Savvy's use. I can't tell you how excited I am that she will be here.

So, my hope for a 'routine' keeps going out the window.  But there is always hope!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Taking Stock

I keep telling myself to get up and 'do something', but the flesh and spirit are weak right now. Hopefully, in a couple of days, when Mercury is no longer in retrograde, everything will perk back up.  But I did come across this post by Pip at Meet Me At Mikes about stopping and taking stock of where she was at the present time.  I thought that was a wonderful idea in this 'downtime' I am experiencing.

Making :  a Dr. Who scarf
Cooking : soft pretzels
Drinking : sweet iced tea (should be more water!)
Reading: Skin Game by Jim Butcher and about 40 other books 
Wanting: to be 'doing' something
Looking: at clouds
Playing: Facebook games way to much
Deciding: to cut down on the above
Wishing: I had more motivation these past few days 
Enjoying: summer in Montana
Waiting: for August 1st and Savvy moves here 
Liking: where I am now 
Wondering: what I can do to make it better
Loving: life
Pondering: more exercise in my life 
Considering: cutting out 'waste of my time' activities (Facebook games and TV)
Watching: Major Crimes and Murder in the First (Draco is a bad guy again)
Hoping: I can find a routine to get into
Marveling: how good life really is now 
Needing: to cut out procrastinating 
Smelling: 'Spring' - a candle from Bath and Body Works
Wearing: my grinch pj bottoms and t-shirt
Following: way too many blogs
Noticing: the sound of the wind and how cold it sounds
Knowing: Savvy will be here soon 
Thinking: I shouldn't have eaten those two soft pretzels
Feeling: blah....
Admiring: both my daughters
Sorting: through piles of papers to organize and file/toss
Buying: iPads
Getting: ready for drive to Arizona
Bookmarking: Galadarling and her July instagram challenge
Disliking: my lagginess
Opening: my mind to other options in my life 
Giggling: at Lady K's dance moves 
Feeling: like change is just around the corner

So I am getting a bit more 'on track' after a Saturday spent piddling.  In looking at some of the blogs I follow, I now have a handful of ideas for posts over the next few weeks.  So far in June, I only missed one day posting, which makes me very happy and productive feeling.  For the moment at least.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Procrastination or Avoidance?

I have been feeling very 'uninspired' the past few days.  Wednesday, I was brought low by some fish which didn't agree with me.  Thursday, taking Lady K for her 15 month checkup and shots.  Fortunately, we have a doctor and PA we adore.  Unfortunately, they are a bit over an hour drive away.  However, it does give us a chance to do some shopping in stores we can't here in Helena (like Barnes and Noble!)


A little bit of a different technique than I normally use.  In fact, this is totally not what I was looking for, but I really like it now that it is done.  I thought maybe a little 'creativity' would get me going.  Instead, I think I am going to clean up my desk and dresser top and organize all of that 'stuff'.  Busy hands keep getting into it, so pick it up and make it a little more manageable. 

I am blaming Mercury in Retrograde for this blah feeling......

Friday, June 27, 2014

Morrell Falls and Gus Digital Play

One of the pictures I took of the snow-capped mountains is now the wallpaper on my computer.  But I stayed inside a bit and 'played' with some of the pictures I took last weekend.

I had taken pictures of "Gus", the larch tree, in hopes of doing a vertical panorama which worked out pretty good.

I think it 'stitched' together pretty darn good.  And yes, the sky really was that blue - no enhancement with the colors that day.

So then I took Gus and turned him into a drawing.  (I am sure Savvy will have some comment about phallic drawings on my part.)

This is the picture now on my computer.  I took it and made a drawing out of it, layering and masking the original and using filters on it.

This is our great hike leader.  He didn't see a bear, I think it was the idea of Starbucks cups littering his car.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Top Secret Twenty-One

What does Grandma's bucket list, a one-eyed Russian and chihuahua minions all have in common?  A rollicking read by Janet Evanovich.

I'm a big fan of the Stephanie Plum series, mainly because it makes me laugh.  I do have to admit, there have been a couple of the books in the later 'teens' which I didn't feel were up to snuff.  Twenty started back on the fun ride I was use to and this one was a big hit.

Ranger is in danger this time and Stephanie is helping find who is out to kill him.  That is between babysitting the 'little person' who is also being targeted, seemingly by the bail jumper she is looking for.  There is the normal car destroyed yet again, a few apartments fire-bombed, naked fat men sitting on rooftops and funeral viewing with Grandma.  Along with cuddling with Joe and lusting, but not touching, with Ranger.

I read it in 24 hours, so I know this is a good one!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Water, Water Everywhere....

I am fascinated by waterfalls and dams - or rather the water coming over and through them.  There is something about all that bouncing, raging water which just intrigues me.  So in that vein, here are some pictures of Morrell Falls.



Anyone have to go to the bathroom yet?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Garden Update

It's funny to talk about a 'garden' update, when my garden is on the porch of a second story.  But it is my 'garden' to stick my little fingers in whenever I want.  It does make a nice picture first thing in the morning when I take the dog out and it's all covered in early morning sunshine.

I added some basil I got at the grocery store to the pots.  These two above have a few sugar snap peas and the scarlet runner beans in them.  And a pinwheel.  I love to see it go crazy in the 'soft, summer breezes' we get!  

My tomato line up.  I realize they might get a bit difficult to navigate through/around when they get bigger, but I figure snow will get them first!  I pinched suckers off them about a month ago and they are all short, but stocky.  In mid-June back in North Carolina, my cherry tomatoes at least would be as tall as I am, so I am having to adjust my expectations.

Do you see it?  That tiny bit of red in the bottom center of the picture?  That's strawberry number 2 I picked.  The berries are tiny, but flavorful.  And as you can see in this one area, covered with potential berries.  It looks so pretty overflowing it's bag.

All the tomato plants are setting fruit now.  This is my Juliet Grape which produces a ton of grape tomatoes, just right for snacking or salads.

But we had about 10 days of really grey, drizzly days, so I am hoping we start getting a bit warmer temperatures and sunshine.  Come on garden!  Mommy needs 'maters!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tongue Twister - World's Largest Larch Tree

After our beautiful hike on Saturday, we made a quick detour just up the road to see the world's largest larch tree.  Nestled in a grove of other old larches, Gus is quietly rooted and on that day, enjoying the warm sunshine.

That's him, in the middle there, with the dead top.  I guess if you are 1000 years old you are entitled to a bit of 'baldness' at the top.  You can see on his trunk (and on the trees around him) evidence of past fires through the area.  Makes you wonder what all he has seen in his long life.

Here's to Gus - long may he reign!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Morrell Falls Hike

First I had a great (but semi-hard) hike to Crow Creek Falls a couple of weeks ago.  Then last weekend it was a cold, damp, but inspiring wildflower hike.  Yesterday I won the Triple Crown!  We had a terrific day - perfect weather - hiking to see Morrell Falls.

Don had us leaving a bit earlier than our normal time - fine for me, can't get too early - and it's a good thing we did.  Since it was the first beautiful day in about 2 weeks, as we were leaving the trail we met about 50 or more people heading in.  Once again, Don does his research to our advantage!

Located near Seeley Lake, the falls are about a two hour drive from Helena.  But it's no hardship as the scenery along the way is fantastic.  This is the way I drove to BOW in 2013.  Passing Salmon Lake and Seeley Lake, you turn of just past the town of Seeley onto a pretty well maintain dirt/gravel road with vistas like these....

It's hard for my brain to wrap around the fact there 'are snow on them there mountains'!  In June!

The parking area at the trailhead is small, about 6-8 cars worth on the loop, but when we left people were parked along the edge of the road.  Another great thing - a bathroom!

This is rated as an 'easy' hike and I agree.  The whole time I was planning on taking Savvy, Texter and Lady K back.  One person packing food/water for a picnic and the other packing Lady K.  However, the trail is fairly flat for most of the way, so she could be put down and allowed to run.

Most of the trail was like this, fairly flat.  People with big feet have to watch for tree roots though!
One that that struck us was the amount of bird song.  On the Crow Creek and Wildflower hike, I remember little, if any, bird song.  Here, at least on our way out, it was constant.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stop and sit and do a little bird watching.

After winding through these lovely trees and nice trail, we came upon a brackish pond.

The fisherman in me just knew there had to be good fishing there, but the edges were really marshy.  There was one diving duck on the water as we went past.

Then we came to a larger lake, what I am guessing is Morrell Lake.  Clear water and our picnic spot on the way back from the falls.  The day was a bit cool to start out with (although I was in shorts and t-shirt), but by the return trip it was starting to heat up.  It was nice to sit in the sun and eat our PBJ sandwiches.  And to rejoice, as we watching group after group heading up to the falls, that we were on our way back. 

Plenty of beargrass all along the trail.  I am really loving their fluffy heads.  Speckled throughout the trees, on the hillsides, they make a truly lovely picture.

Unlike the Crow Creek Falls hike where we heard rushing water constantly, other than the initial bit of the trail, there wasn't any real water sounds until we got within about 15-20 minutes of the falls.  Then it sounded like an oncoming freight train.  I keep waiting to hear a whistle blow for a railroad crossing.

After last weekend, I was on the lookout for wildflowers.  As we got closer to the falls, Angela pointed out the trilliums.  There were so many that I renamed the trail, Trillium Trail.

There was only one real creek crossing, but it had a really nice, study bridge across it.  The water was pretty shallow yesterday, but based on what the bank looked like, it is easy to imagine the water being a lot higher.

But notice how clear it is!  So have a leisurely hike up and around and through the woods, we came to the falls.  The noise is loud and there is a mist from the falls.

But can we say "impressive", "beautiful", "awe-inspiring" really can't describe the falls with words.

A double-waterfall, it pours over the rocks, throwing up a fine mist.

And because there are always those idiots, signs have to be provided.

I took the following bit of video with my iPhone there (and no, there is not cell coverage right at the falls).  I wanted you to hear the sound of the falls.

So with Savvy coming from Arizona and a couple of people and their kids from the library, I know I will be back for this hike in the very near future.  At two hours, the drive to get there isn't bad at all, the hiking is easy, even for kids (and me!) and the turn-around at the falls is outstanding.