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Archive for March, 2010

I Took a Walk, I Took a Photo (Um, Several Photos)

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

On March 7, the day was so gorgeous I took a walk. This was the day I found a tiny blooming flower in my yard.

There is a school near our home. I decided to go on the swing set for a while. I have always loved swings, though it seems that an adult body is never going to be comfy in a sling seat!

I slowed down my swing and sat there for a while, watching kids play basketball, younger kids climb the equipment, and a mommy walk a couple of dogs. I had an impulse to take a few photos, and held the camera out with my right hand. The angle could not have been better, just look at all that red lined up so nicely!


For the knitters, I am wearing a “Bloom Shawl” by friend Trish Bloom. It was knit in the original yarn, Noro Blossom. This yarn was discontinued but there is a very similar yarn now offered by Noro which really works well. LOVE this design.

I’m holding a Chippy sock, still in progress, in my hand. It is earmarked for my new niece (who is a tiny thing).

Here are a few other photos of the area. Remember, this was the same day I had a flower blooming. We definitely have a warm spot on our own lot. Most of the area looked white like this!



I found three places on my almost-two-hour walk, which had large areas of grass rather than snow. One was my own south-facing side yard:


The other big one was another corner lot, another south-facing area. I see a trend.


I feel lucky. I am *not* a winter girl. To be gifted with one of the very few patches of green, is a real delight. To find a flower the first week of March? Incredible. Lucky me.

A Reader’s Art, Minneapolis

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

My friend Susan Hensel lives in Minneapolis now. She was the one who inspired both my “Fabric of Friendship” feltmaking performance/display, and my knitted Self-Portrait.

I met Susan years ago in Mid-Michigan (does anyone in Lansing remember “Wyrd Sisters” in Okemos?). She and two other partners had an artspace called “The Art Apartment” in East Lansing (where my feltmaking show was hung).

Susan now owns a gallery in Minneapolis, and has continued her shows called “A Reader’s Art” which are incredible, mind-bending art books. This will be her 10th year for the show. If you know anyone near Minneapolis, please let them know about this.

Susan Hensel Gallery presents

A READER’S ART 10 March 12-April 23, 2010 A TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Opening reception March 12, 7-9pm

Help us celebrate! Opening reception March 12, 7-9pm To see a full list of exhibitors, please visit:susanhenselgallery.com Also don’t miss! A special poetry reading hosted by Georgia Greeley w/ members of the Laurel Poetry Collective: April 16th, 2010. 7 p.m.

Return often. The show runs through April 23. Hours for Susan Hensel Gallery are Monday 10-5 and by very generous appointment: 612 722-2324. Susan Hensel Gallery
3441 Cedar Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55407

A Blooming Flower, March 7, Lansing!

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Here she is:


There seem to be no affiliated leaves with this bloom, though there are myrtle groundcover leaves not too far away. Must be myrtle/periwinkle, though at this angle she sure looks like a tiny morning glory!

Most of the neighborhood is covered in snow. Around sidewalks and homes, there are areas thawing slowly. When I walk outside, there is a constant sound of water flowing into the drains.

Our south side yard seems to have a “microclimate” that I only saw three times on my walk. There are patches in a few yards where the whole thing is melted for some reason. It’s only on the middle of our side yard, where things are clearly warmer.


Five blocks away:


We are not done with winter yet. There are always at least a few flakes of snow in the air, in April. But a few melting days can make a woman feel tall again!

It has been about a week of sun/melting during the day and freezing at night. This is perfect. The mildew has not taken hold yet because of the frost at night.

Today I opened both the front door and the back. Our house is rather small and there is a straight line of airflow between the two. There are no bugs out yet, so even with no screen on the  back door, I gave us fresh air inside. I’m delighted.

Does anyone remember the mid-70’s John Denver album “Rocky Mountain High?” I remember he had a “song cycle” about the seasons. There were four songs titled with our normal four seasons. Then there was a “tune…” no words, just mood… entitled “Late Winter/Early Spring.” I almost never connect with instrumentals, but this one captivated me and I would play it repeatedly.

Today, on my walk through my neighborhood, I had an inner soundtrack going, with Late Winter/Early Spring. Kids, dogs, bikes, basketballs… young couples, babies in strollers. Snow melting, water flowing into drains rather loudly. It is a good day in Lansing.

Knitting for a Tiny Baby Girl

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Our family just increased by one. I’m now an aunt, again.

The little girl is merely 5 lb 8 oz as of Wednesday. She is a week old today, Saturday. The sweet girl is well and beautiful, and the parents are glowing. (Tired, but glowing.)

I have made a point of not knitting for Brian’s side of the family. There are so many people, and I don’t want anyone to feel left out. I can not possibly knit for everyone and still run a business that has to do with knitting.

But this week I broke my resolve. I know these parents very well and I adore them. The world needs more families of this commitment and caliber.

Here is the result of my weak moment:


(Chippy Socks for Kids. Size Infant-0. Debbie Bliss Rialto and Filatura di Crosa Zara. Size 2 US Brittany Birch needles.)

No, I do not have a photo of the baby. I will have to ask permission to borrow one someone else took before I put up any images. Trust me: she is delicious to look at. I’m in love and I haven’t even met her.

A ColorJoy Moment, at Home

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Brian just got a new camera. He was testing it out while I was working, laptop on the couch. He got this photo.


Somehow, only a tiny bit of the real mess and all of the color in my world, got into the photo. This was not staged. Welcome to a good, quiet, working moment… in my pleasant, modest life.

Let’s play that game where kids find things in a drawing:

Cup o’tea in mug gifted to us by Midwest Ukefest/Indianapolis
Hot water bottle for warm feet (hiding)
Bobbins for spinning wheel
Christmas lights
Heftone Bass
Quilted pillow by Sis-in-Love, Jane
Handknit lap blankie by Sis-in-Love, Diana (almost hiding)
Blanket from beloved Mexico
Blanket from beloved Ethiopia

Did I say “Cup o’tea?” Did I say “New laptop which I love?”

Did I say “Beloved hubby who is behind the camera?”

It is really, truly a good life, if you notice the little things. All these little things (and more) add up to a doozy of a satisfying life, for me.

The Real Thing: Hope

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010


Here is a photo of the daffodil buds I saw Monday. I took this photo about noon on Wednesday. As a point of reference, this is a photo taken in the same session (the view which was behind me when I took the above photo):


And this is a photo out the window of my front door, taken immediately after I took the above shot (notice the rare and beautiful hint of blue in the sky):


I am not a winter person, though I was born at the end of November and many of my ancestors lived in Norway and Sweden. Last year, the winter seemed to go on forever, even though we visited Florida for a week in February.

This year… no vacation, but it just was not as brutal somehow. I am grateful.

And the buds promise that things are changing, at least in one tiny microclimate in my yard. I think I am going to make it!

Hope Has Arrived (before Spring)

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I went for a walk with friend April on Monday. We walked along the side of my house, where I do not often walk before dark.

For some reason, I noticed that there were a few inches around my house before the snow started. Apparently a little melting has been going on lately, and I saw actual green growing plants (mostly weeds, I will take what I can get on the first week of March).

We took a few more steps and I looked a little further in the same melted patch. I could not believe it! Not only daffodil shoots coming up through the soil, but a bud glowing yellow through it. It was close to the ground, but it was a bud.

I did not have my camera on our walk. Tuesday I left in a big hurry and did not get home before sunset.

However, you have my word. Michigan had at least one daffodil bud growing on Monday, March 1. The photo here is that same plant, blooming in a previous year.

We usually get at least one day with a few snowflakes, in April. Very occasionally we get a big storm in April.

But last year I showed photos of blooming flowers in my yard, on March 24. Let us hope that this year it will be at least that good. Crossing fingers!