stephanie young photography: Blog https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) stephanie young photography (stephanie young photography) Mon, 24 Jan 2022 16:45:00 GMT Mon, 24 Jan 2022 16:45:00 GMT https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-12/u800284422-o76091504-50.jpg stephanie young photography: Blog https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog 86 120 wonderful weekend... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/wonderful-weekend IMG_2024IMG_2024 Good Morning, Friends.

Delilah here.  DelilahRoseDogYoung.  Remember me?

What a weekend!!!  It all started Friday, when UPS man (who I do NOT bark at)delivered a package for ME!!!  Well, it was addressed to my Mom, but as soon as she opened it I knew it was MINE!!!  Oh, JOY!!!  My Aunt Jody sent it to me.  Just look at it!!!

IMG_2015IMG_2015 See all those slidey things.  There are !!TREATS!!! under them.  Mom showed me how to slide them...and then...

IMG_2018IMG_2018 I promptly popped them all out, which I found much more expedient in treat-retrieval.  I'm not sure why the box said that there were no small pieces to this game.  

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It took Daddy nearly an hour to figure out how to get all the pieces back together.  It took me about 30 seconds to find all the treats.  I'm not sure Daddy got a treat when he put all the pieces back.  I highly recommend treats as work incentives.

I so successfully conquered this part of the puzzle, that Mom showed me how to slide and spin the center section.  

IMG_2021IMG_2021 I removed those unremovable pieces, too, in record time.  No spinning needed.  I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH!!!!!  I played it 'enthusiastically' several more times before Daddy said...NO MORE.  

So, Mom and I went to the Dog Park. (Dad was putting my game back together.) It was my maiden voyage there. Hers, too.  I was no sooner in the Park, than someone called my name!!!!  I couldn't believe I already had a friend there!!!!  Miss Annie (Jett's Mom) had read my Facebook stuff, recognized me, and we became best friends---immediately.  I was rather shy.  New kid on the block and all.  But everyone sniffed my butt and I sniffed a few back and no blows were thrown.  I didn't stay long.  When Jett and Enzo (my other new friend) left, I left too.  Good thing.  Some guy brought 4 furry friends in and two looked sort of mean.  I think I want to go back sometime, though.  Maybe when those tough guys aren't there.  

When I got home...you will never-ever-ever-in-a-hundred-million-years-ever guess what was on my front porch!!!!!  Another package from Aunt Jody!!!  I KNEW IT WAS FOR ME!!!!!  UPS man forgot to deliver it with the other one.  (Maybe I should have barked at him.)  

IMG_2025IMG_2025 This toy was rated a '2' (instead of a '4')  It just has flippy things and slidey things and nothing came apart when I got the treats.  Since I used both my nose and my paws, I had all the treats eaten in about 7 seconds.  I LOVE THIS ONE a whole whole lot!!!

So does my Dad.

 

Love,

DelilahRoseDogYoung

xo

 

PS: LOVE you, Aunt Jody!!! 

 

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(stephanie young photography) Delilah toys https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/wonderful-weekend Mon, 24 Jan 2022 16:45:18 GMT
I lost my ball.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/i-lost-my-ball IMG_2003_outputIMG_2003_output Hi, My Friends.

Delilah here.

This is GIGGLE-ball.  It's not the one I lost.  PHEW.  Thanks goodness, because it's my favorite.  No.  It's really my FAVORITE!!!

I lost my 'Treat' ball.  AGAIN.  Mom fills it with yummies. I roll it around.  Yummies squirt out the holes.  It's swell.  I'm always hungry, so you would think that this would be my favorite ball, and at certain times of the day, it really IS.  It's small.  I play hard.  Treat-ball gets into all kinds of teeny, forbidden places, and as smart as I am, I'm sometimes not smart enough to figure out how to get it.  It got lost.  I thought we needed to call 911.

Do you all know my mom very well?  Well, let me tell you...she's a bit compulsive about things.  (I'm learning that is quite the understatement.) To be honest, she's a CONTROL FREAK! The past two days, she's been on her hands and knees looking for my treat ball.  You would think her world was topsy-turvy, not mine.  Anyway, she's cleaned under and behind all the furniture in the house.  She's swiffered places I didn't even know could be swiffered.  The place is pretty tidy, if I do say so myself.  I think a call to 911 would have  been more expedient.

So, we were getting ready to sit down and tell you about the saga of my poor lost treat ball, when we turned our heads at the same time (here in the computer room), and hiding in plain site....YEP!!!  TREAT BALL!!!  OH, JOY!!!!  I grabbed it....ran off (who cares there were no treats in it!?) and before mom could chase after me....POOF.  It was gone again.

Swiffer-mop or 911?  (I need to figure out how to use the phone.)

 

Your friend,

DelilahRoseDogYoung 

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(stephanie young photography) Delilah lost toy https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/i-lost-my-ball Fri, 21 Jan 2022 16:21:24 GMT
Mayfield Tornado...2022 https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/mayfield-tornado-2022 On December 10, 2021 an upper-end EF4 tornado ripped historic downtown Mayfield to shreds.  This little town 20 miles from me saw the brunt of the 165.7 mile track of destruction wreaked by this epic tornado.  I'm pretty sure if I had a redo on my career choice, photojournalism would have made the cut.  I love the immediacy but more over I love looking for the stories.  There was very little to 'love' about this tragedy, but I needed to document it.  For me.  And for you.
I'm not a journalist...and I had no reason to be a gawker and add to the chaos of the first few weeks.  So I waited.  The cleanup is well underway.  When it's completed, there will be very little left of the town and the rebuilding will begin.  But, at least, you'll have a chance to catch a glimpse of what this sweet little western Kentucky town lost.

As I drove down the highway on this sunny day, there was very little indication that a horrific storm had ever happened.  Even as I approached Mayfield's city limits.  There is a slight overpass as you enter the town....and on the other side of it was this:

 

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(stephanie young photography) Mayfield tornado https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/mayfield-tornado-2022 Thu, 13 Jan 2022 13:57:32 GMT
Have you heard? https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/have-you-heard  

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I suppose you all heard already.  It was all over Facebook. I ate my Mom and Dad's dinner.  Again.

Actually, it was probably going to be their dinner for the next week, so in a way I saved them from those endless leftovers.  I ate their defrosting flank steak.  All 2.5 pounds of it.  I didn't care one little bit that it was a tad frosty in the middle.  

Now, before you jump my case...I'd like to take just a minute to defend my actions.  Mom left her cooking station in the kitchen in favor of watching the end of a photography webinar, placing far more importance on that than dinner.  When she found 'dinner' still slightly frozen, she tossed it in a bowl of water, put it in the sink, and left the scene.  Dinner floated enough for me to grab it.  And I did.  (I can make myself incredibly tall when I want to.)  And I gobbled as fast as I possibly could.  By the time the webinar finished (probably four or five minutes tops) there wasn't any indication that any meat had ever been on the floor.  If I hadn't been sitting there, licking my chops and looking rather pleased with myself, I might have been able to blame it on someone else.  (Not sure who.  Maybe Pink Baby.)

I have to give Mom credit.  She didn't cry.  But she did go....NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!

And I got the idea.  

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(stephanie young photography) Delilah food https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/have-you-heard Mon, 10 Jan 2022 13:00:00 GMT
It'S SnOwING!!!! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/its-snowing _DSC6460_DSC6460

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Isn't a snowy day THE BEST?!?!?

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) Australian Delilah shepherd snow https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/its-snowing Thu, 06 Jan 2022 19:20:24 GMT
Delish... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/delish IMG_1864IMG_1864

I can't believe I got in trouble!  I left Mom and Dad two totally unslobbered muffins.  I'm enforcing portion control around here.  (heehee...Mom thought I made myself tall when I gobbled her lunch the other day!  I ate these right off the top of the stove!!!  I made myself into a small person size today!)

 

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I can verify that they were DELISH!  Here's the recipe:

Jazzed Up Jiffy Cornbread Muffins

1 8 ox box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup Mayonnaise (Hellman's of course)

1/4 c melted butter.

Mix it all together.  Spray a 6-muffin muffin tin with Pam.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.


You're welcome.

 

Yours truly,

DelilahDogYoung, TCK*

 

*the chicken killer

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(stephanie young photography) Delilah recipe https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/delish Tue, 04 Jan 2022 04:01:35 GMT
Happy New Year...2022 https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/happy-new-year-2022 Is there any better time to resurrect the blog than on the first day of the year?  I've missed my virtual friends.  Anyone still out there?

I've spent part of the morning doing what I do most January firsts....unsubscribing to all those holiday emails that are filling the inbox, deleting old emails that for some reason have sat in my inbox since last March.......

 

Boring...B-O-R-I-N-G!!!  C'mon, Mom.  Move over.  I'm taking over, OK?

Hi, to all you people I can't see.  I'm Delilah.  I just moved in here yesterday, and believe me, this place can use some spicing up.  I used to live at the Humane Society, and before that I lived somewhere where I got into a whole bunch of trouble.  Something about killing chickens.  What do those pullets expect when they won't herd?  Dumb clucks.  Zero tolerance on my part.  Apparently, it was zero tolerance on my last people's part, too, although I hardly remember them.  I'm having so much fun here.

_DSC6417-1_DSC6417-1 It's raining today and my yard (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!) is too muddy to play in.  Pink Baby and I are stuck inside.  (I'll show you Pink Baby some other time.   She's swell.)  So, I've spent the day working on training my mom and dad.  Got mom to take me for a walk in the rain; SQUIRRELS LIVE HERE!!!!  Oh joy!  I didn't catch any today, but that was OK.  I still had fun trying.  Me and mom Mom and I were soaked when we got home.  I like water.  I'm not sure how she feels about it.  And then, I had lunch.  Followed by mom's lunch.

_DSC6415_DSC6415 I didn't like the soy sauce or the wasabi but I sure loved the salmon sushi!!!!  I had to make myself really tall to reach the top of the butcher block, but I was up to the task.   I wonder what's for dinner.

I've had time to take a few naps ...

_DSC6418_DSC6418 but I have to nap with my eyes open.

I might miss something.  

Love and slobbery kisses.  

XOXO

Your new friend,

Delilah, the chicken killer

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2022/1/happy-new-year-2022 Sat, 01 Jan 2022 19:48:10 GMT
Photo a Day: #18 Lunch time https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-18-lunch-time #18 Lunch time#18 Lunch time

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-18-lunch-time Tue, 14 Sep 2021 23:34:22 GMT
Photo-a-Day #17: Sunflower bud https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-17-sunflower-bud #17 Sunflower bud#17 Sunflower bud

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(stephanie young photography) flower lensbaby photography sunflower https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-17-sunflower-bud Sun, 12 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT
Photo-a-Day #16: Twist and shout https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-16-twist-and-shout #16 Twirly#16 Twirly

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(stephanie young photography) Lensbaby photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-16-twist-and-shout Fri, 10 Sep 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Photo-a-Day #15: Buddy bud https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-15-buddy-bud #15 Sunflower#15 Sunflower

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(stephanie young photography) lensbaby photography sunflower https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-15-buddy-bud Thu, 09 Sep 2021 23:45:43 GMT
Photo-a-Day #14: Late afternoon snack https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-15-late-afternoon-snack #14 Late afternoon snack#14 Late afternoon snack

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-15-late-afternoon-snack Thu, 09 Sep 2021 01:45:21 GMT
Photo-a-day #13: I'm a dahlia lover, too https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-13-im-a-dahlia-lover-too #13 Dahlia lover#13 Dahlia lover

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(stephanie young photography) dahlia photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-13-im-a-dahlia-lover-too Tue, 07 Sep 2021 16:33:12 GMT
Photo-a-day #12: Another Dahlia to Love https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-12 #12 Another dahlia to love#12 Another dahlia to love

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(stephanie young photography) Dahlia flower Lensbaby photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-12 Tue, 07 Sep 2021 00:18:37 GMT
Photo-a-Day: #11 Waterlilies x 5 https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-11-waterlilies-x-5 #11 Waterlilies x 5#11 Waterlilies x 5

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-11-waterlilies-x-5 Sun, 05 Sep 2021 18:41:58 GMT
Photo-a-day #10: Leafy Lensbaby Love https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-10 Lensbaby leaf 2Lensbaby leaf 2 Lensbaby Velvet 56

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(stephanie young photography) Lensbaby nature photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-10 Sun, 05 Sep 2021 00:18:56 GMT
Photo-a-day #9: I pick you https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-i-pick-you #9 I pick you#9 I pick you Chicago Botanic Gardens

Little bee happily chose this wabi sabi looking flower from which to gather pollen.

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(stephanie young photography) bee flower photography pollinator https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-i-pick-you Fri, 03 Sep 2021 21:27:58 GMT
Photo-a-day #8: Shy dahlia at the Chicago Botanic Garden https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-shy-dahlia-at-the-chicago-botanic-garden #8 shy dahlia#8 shy dahlia

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/9/photo-a-day-shy-dahlia-at-the-chicago-botanic-garden Fri, 03 Sep 2021 01:21:50 GMT
Photo-a-day #7: Chicago Botanic Gardens, waterlilies https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-chicago-botanic-gardens-waterlilies #7 Waterlily dream#7 Waterlily dream

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(stephanie young photography) exposure garden lilies multiple photography water https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-chicago-botanic-gardens-waterlilies Tue, 31 Aug 2021 19:35:23 GMT
Photo-a-day #6: Chicago, Immersive Van Gogh...Vincent https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-chicago-immersive-van-gogh-vincent #6 vincent#6 vincent

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-chicago-immersive-van-gogh-vincent Mon, 30 Aug 2021 18:00:56 GMT
Photo-a-Day #5: Last geranium https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-last-geranium #5 mergedgeranium-soloarization#5 mergedgeranium-soloarization

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(stephanie young photography) a day flower photo photography solarization https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-last-geranium Sun, 29 Aug 2021 23:00:00 GMT
Photo-a-Day #4: Rose...assembly required https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-rose-assembly-required #4 Dissassembled rose#4 Dissassembled rose

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(stephanie young photography) a day flower photo photography project rose sabi wabi https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-rose-assembly-required Sat, 28 Aug 2021 16:45:00 GMT
Photo a day #3: Alley Flower https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-alley-flower #3 Alley flower#3 Alley flower

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(stephanie young photography) a day flower high key photo photography project https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-alley-flower Fri, 27 Aug 2021 16:42:39 GMT
Photo-a-Day #2: Alley weed https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-alley-weed #2 Alley weeds#2 Alley weeds

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(stephanie young photography) a day photo project weed https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-alley-weed Thu, 26 Aug 2021 16:33:48 GMT
Photo a day project #1 https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-project It's time to reinvent this poor blog space.  (Hands really don't knit anymore!)  

If you like looking at photos...maybe you'll like hopping in here occasionally.  I'm going to attempt a photo-a-day project.  Knowing me, it should be labled a photo-a-week/or photo-a-month project.  No text.  Just photo.  Wish me luck.

 

#1 Milkweed#1 Milkweed  

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(stephanie young photography) high key milkweed nature photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/photo-a-day-project Wed, 25 Aug 2021 19:52:26 GMT
Hello, little friend https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/hello-little-friend _DSC1354_DSC1354

It's official....I've overknit and burned out my hands.  I've traded in my knitting needles, and am now working on messing up my shoulders, hips, and knees by slugging around a camera bag that weighs almost as much as I do!  

Let me introduce my newest photographic obsession...Lensbaby lenses.  These are a type of lens...manual only...that has selective focus built it.  A few of them mimic something called free-lensing, others just give you a lovely glow that you just can't quite get any other way.  There is a learning curve getting that focus just where you want it.  For me, it's a rather steep one that I've been climbing off and on for several years.  Now, I've decided to 'Just Do It'.  (And Nike thought that just referred to sports!)

The other day  I went to a You-Pick-It Flower farm and clicked instead of picked.  While my friends were getting lovely flower images, most of my time was spent chasing critters.

 

_DSC1295_DSC1295 _DSC1305_DSC1305  Lensbaby Velvet 85, ISO 400, fstop about 3.5 (lensbaby doesn't record this in metadata, so this is a guess)

 

I know this slightly in-focus/mostly out of focus look isn't something everyone loves, but I'm pretty hooked obsessed!  The lenses are lightweight compared to my traditional lenses.  And there are so many choices of them from which to pick!!! The only downside is...I only own three.  I now think I want to try more! and more! and more!!! 

(And I thought a yarn habit was expensive!!!)

Enjoy your week, friends!  (anyone still out there?)

 

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(stephanie young photography) bugs Lensbaby photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/8/hello-little-friend Sun, 22 Aug 2021 15:18:38 GMT
Some days are just full of surprises... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/7/some-days-are-just-confusing Swallowtail orbSwallowtail orb Zebra swallowtail?  Yep.  Surprise!

One surprise after another all week! Well, really only a couple of surprises, but most definitely more surprise excitement than usual.

First off, I got an email congratulating me on winning first place in a garden container photo contest that I apparently entered sometime last spring.  Where shall they send my check?  OH MY GOODNESS!  A win that involves more than just a blue ribbon sticker?  

The usual conversation with Hubby when I announce a photo win:                                                                                                                  HUBBY: so you won first place.  And what did you win?  ME:  First Place!!!!  HUBBY:  I know.  WHAT did you WIN?  ME:  Probably a blue ribbon.  Maybe a blue ribbon sticker.  HUBBY:  oh.  That's really great.  I'm glad for you.

I probably should have paid closer attention to this contest.  I paid so little attention to it that I must have deleted my entry at some point.  Fortunately, they didn't ask for a larger file, so I guess they aren't planning on blowing it up for corporate headquarters!  I think it will appear on some brochure advertising.  Maybe Facebook.                                                                                                                                                    HUBBY: You are much cheaper than hiring an ad agency.   ME:  Thanks for the support.

That same afternoon, I got another email.  Congratulations on receiving an Honorable Mention in the National Wildlife photo contest.  I must have been really bored last spring that I even considered entering this.  I simply don't have the wildlife photography skills to excel in this genre.  But, what the heck.  I sent in an IPhone photo (of all things).

Praying MantisPraying Mantismemphis flower show, April 3-5; class 6: Eagle ‘I’ ; i-phone  He/She was one of nearly 30,000 entries in this contest, so to say I was thrilled to receive an Honorable Mention is an understatement.

HUBBY:  So, an Honorable Mention is good?  ME:  Yes.  Very, very good.  HUBBY:I thought a win with a blue sticker was good.  I'm confused.

Back to the orbs....   

My photography is going to be part of a show at a restaurant in town.  The Freight House became rather famous after it's chef, Sarah Bradley, came in second a couple years ago on Top Chef.  She's a wonderful connector in town and supports lots of local artists, providing display space.  The curator of this show had chosen two of my 'orb' photos to accompany some other images, but after we looked more closely at the space, she decided she needed a few more.  I've been spinning and flipping pictures for days.  Not everything 'orbs' well.  

Clematis orbClematis orb Bird of Paradise orbBird of Paradise orb _DSC0207-12_DSC0207-12 Clematis.  Bird of Paradise. Magnolia.  Surprise!  These appeared to have made the cut. 

HUBBY:  They don't look like flowers.   ME:  I know.  They aren't supposed to.  HUBBY:  I thought photographs were supposed to look like things.  I'm still really confused.

In the midst of flipping and twisting and turning and printing and happy dancing,  one more email dinged...followed by a phone call, and a text, a voicemail, and another phone call.

Editor (volunteer) for a national publication?  The happy dance came to an abrupt end.  In my most professional voice, which hopefully lacked the panic I felt, I graciously turned down this golden opportunity.   

Not all surprises are created equal.  (Hubby didn't get it either!)

 

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Full disclosure..and update:  

I wrote this post quite awhile ago and it got lost in my neglect of the blog.  The show was lovely at the Frieght House, and it has now moved on to a local boutique hotel.  A few more 'wins' have made it to my resume...and Hubby remains confused with my excitement with blue stickers.

 

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(stephanie young photography) photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/7/some-days-are-just-confusing Thu, 08 Jul 2021 18:05:45 GMT
Hello, little bird... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/7/hello-little-bird _DSC8919-3_DSC8919-3

Hello, little bird.  

Who are you? I apologize for not being sure, but where I'm from...you aren't.  I looked you up in a 'seashore of North Carolina' book.  It didn't have many bird choices; it was a small book. I thought maybe you were a tern, but terns have a yellow pointy beak (I think).  And I sort of learned who the terns are when I got dive-bombed and pooped on earlier in the week.  Something about protecting their nests, which, of course, I never saw.   I need to work on my birding.  This week, I was working on my bird photography.  The two obviously should go hand in hand.  Just as obviously...I'm not good at either!

_DSC8944_DSC8944 I know.  I interrupted your breakfast.  I think you have just eaten something, but I missed what it was. Something in your beak would have been a great photo.  You gotta help me out here!   I hope I don't give you indigestion.  Your little eyes are glued to mine.   I've no intentions of tormenting or hurting you.  Promise.

_DSC8946-2_DSC8946-2 OK.  Let's just go for the portrait shot.  Smile!  Oh?  You are smiling? Yes.  I see it now.

Thanks. 

 

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(stephanie young photography) bird photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/7/hello-little-bird Mon, 05 Jul 2021 14:18:33 GMT
Laundry love...the book https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/laundry-love _DSC7306_DSC7306 Anyone still with me?  Laundry?  Really?

I live in a very small 1923 bungalow where space must be used creatively.  My laundry room is off the kitchen in part of the wrap around porch that was enclosed sometime in the 50s to accommodate a growing family.  It was once a bedroom, but now it is home to a coat closet, pantry, microwave, kitchen storage, AND laundry.  

When a friend called before sending me a happy birthday box, she warned me with the titillating 'You may really hate this birthday box. Just be sure to open the package labeled open-me-first FIRST or you won't get it.'  The box arrived and I tore into it...the heck with the fact that it wasn't my birthday.  (in my defense...I'll be gone on my actual birthday; not in my defense...it's days before I leave and I could have even waited until I returned and had a nice belated surprise.)

'Open me first' had me opening a book, entitled Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore by Patric RIchardson.  I had never heard of him, although please remember I sort of live under a rock and am never in the know about anything.  My daughter had heard of him and had even watched an episode of his tv show, although she wasn't smitten enough to get on board with the 'love'.  (In her defense:  she spends a lot of time getting red clay out of baseball uniforms and doing smelly boy laundry for teenage boys.)

Everything on that shelf you see (minus the picture and the jar of Tide pods which I had unwittingly bought that very morning and which I really should have removed from the photo shoot) were also in the birthday box. I obviously had a lot to learn.  But, first of all, I had a wonderful time 'decanting' the flakes and the bleach into old jars...finding homes for the jars' previous contents...relocating other things that had lived on the shelf--like oatmeal and granola---to a more appropriate place and generally 'fluffing', as this friend and I love to do.  Basically, I had skipped to Chapter 10:  Making the Laundry Room Your Happy Place.

I quickly moved on to the serious stuff and read the book cover to cover.  (Yes  It's that readable to devour in a single sitting.) Richardson shares tips and techniques he teaches in his Laundry Camp at the Mall of America, and you know if you can fill class after class after class at the Mall of America, you've got an entertaining, delightful teaching style.  I think my daughter gave up too soon on him...smelly clothes involve vodka, not soap.  Go figure.  I now know how to remove any kind of stain (even an old one) from anything--or at least where in the book to find the 'recipe' for the magic to happen. Did you know laundry has sort of a history?  Chlorine bleach actually makes your whites dingy?  Dishwashing soap is too harsh for nearly all fabrics and should not be used to remove stains?  

As a fiber and textile lover this book really did bring joy.  As someone concerned with the environment, the joy was doubled because all the cleaning agents he uses are plant based and environmentally friendly.  No petroleum, phthalates, or parabens.  No sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, lauryl alcohol exothylate, socium silicate, sodium xylenesulfonate or stilbene disulfonic acid triazine derivatives.  Go ahead.  Check your laundry ingredients.  I'll wait.  And what's worse, all those chemicals are packaged these days in concentrated amounts; there is enough detergent in one pod to wash five loads of clothes.

As an added bonus...the appendix includes a bunch of his favorite family recipes.  OK.  So some of them might result in some stains.  But, honestly....

Who cares? 

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(stephanie young photography) laundry reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/6/laundry-love Fri, 04 Jun 2021 13:02:48 GMT
Hard Choices.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/5/hard-choices IMG_1031IMG_1031 Hi, my friends.  Any friends still out there?  I hope so.  I know I've neglected this space for quite some time.  Hard choices.  Not about writing, and certainly not about my friends...both virtual and in the flesh!  I do like to write, and I do like to connect to like-minded folk.  

But, the conundrum...what to write about.  No.  Not writer's block.  This space has been more or less (definitely more MORE than less) about knitting since I began...way back when it was still woolythyme.com on a different platform.  I changed to a photography-based platform but never changed my content.  I like to knit.  But, sadly...the above baby blanket might have changed all that.

I was on a self imposed deadline.  This was for a baby imminently due to be born and whose Grandma was going to be there for her out of town birth.  I need to get this to Grandma; she sits next to me in church.  Knit, knit, knit...knit, knit, wiggle those fingers that are falling asleep, knit, knit, wiggle, wiggle, shake, knit, knit, knit.  In a sprint to the finish, my hands continued to give me more and more trouble.  The blanket and my hands sort of finished at the same time.

It's been a couple weeks since the blanket was finished and I haven't dared to pick up a knitting needle.  I can finally just barely hold my camera and I'm leaving on a jet plane (yes...you do hear a happy tune there) for a photography outing soon.  Hard choices are being made.  I'm not saying I'll never knit again.  At least that's what I'm hoping I'm saying. 

But, I'll be moving a bit in a different direction.  

I was listening to David DuChemin's A Beautiful Anarchy podcast this morning and he was talking about the pressure to produce.  I think all creatives go through this, whether it's with music, photography, or ...knitting.  I was never so much a product knitter (unless there was a crazy self-imposed deadline like I just had), but more a process knitter.  I loved the rhythm of the work, the tactile feeling of wool running through my fingers.  In just two weeks, I've missed this.  As a creative, I'm searching for something to create to fill that void.

A good deal of that blanket was knit while driving a crazy number of miles to the Finger Lakes Region of New York a few weeks ago.  Besides having a blanket to show for it, I have a few photos.  A little bit of heaven that I didn't come close to capturing.  For those of you who still haven't ventured too far from home, I hope you enjoy this trip...to several waterfalls, a botanical garden, to gorgeous gorges, and on a hike in the woods and the wildflowers I found there.

ithaca waterfallithaca waterfall _DSC7111_DSC7111 _DSC6979_DSC6979 _DSC7077_DSC7077 _DSC7104_DSC7104 _DSC7058_DSC7058 P1010262P1010262 Added to all that beautiful landscape....a chance to use my new toy.  An infrared camera!  An added obsession to the already rather obsessed photography obsession.

Move over knitting!

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(stephanie young photography) infrared knitting landscape photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/5/hard-choices Sun, 30 May 2021 17:14:32 GMT
Hopping toward the finish line... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/hopping-toward-the-finish-line _DSF1165_DSF1165 Bunny burrow is really a sleeve... almost done...maybe by next week I'll finish the other sleeve and have a finished sweater!  Just in time for warm weather to set in. (sigh)  

Bunny nugget (a free pattern on Ravelry by Rebecca Danger) is the challenge this week.  I've taught all seven grands to knit, but it's only 'stuck' with the youngest, who for all practical purposes is as obsessed with it as I am.  Sadly, she lives 5 hours away.  But, we're venturing out to see that family this weekend---first time in a year, and Abby is counting on knitting time.  In fact, she's scheduled me pretty tight; we're only there for less than two days and besides the knitting, she's lined up creating a country breakfast for the family, baking some bread, making a cake, learning to knit socks, and proofreading her latest 'novel'.   We'd really like to at least say hello to the other 4 grands who live in that household...and my son and his wife.  You can probably tell who rules the roost in that household.

I've already postponed the socks until we go to the beach this summer, and I'm hoping that the bunny will satisfy her...teaching her knitting with double point needles, I-cord, and three needle bind-off, all of which I think I can troubleshoot via facetime if I need to.  She's a bright 9 year old; she can do this.   I'm an old grandma...but I can do this, too!  

On the reading front:

The Vanishing Half....it got great reviews and I understand why.  A well written tale of twins, one living as white and the other living as colored...in the early 70s.   I'm about half through and enjoying the story.

Joining with Kat and Unraveled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/hopping-toward-the-finish-line Wed, 24 Mar 2021 12:00:00 GMT
an ordinary outing... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/an-ordinary-outing Some friends invited me on a girlfriend outing yesterday.  I have had my two shots...the rest have had one.  We felt pretty good about an adventure...masks in tow.  And off we went!!

The destination was a garden junk shop about an hour from home in a little town in the middle of nowhere.  Expectations were low, but it was a beautiful day and it wasn't in my backyard, so I was pretty excited!  

I was so overwhelmed while I wandered the grounds of the shop that I failed to even reach for my phone to take photos.  It was FULL  and I mean FULL! of the funkiest stuff you've ever seen.  The owner greeted us (along with about 30 other people who thought this was the best idea for a Saturday outing).  There was just something about her and her voice.  How could I know her?  This nagged at me while I oogled all the treasures...found a couple things to bring home...and while I was checking out, I reconnected with a long lost friend.  Her original shop was destroyed in our infamous icestorm of 2009, she left our town, moved back home, and after recouping, she opened this little gem.  A couple new planters, an early Christmas gift for a friend, and reconnecting with an old friend.  Could the day get any better?

Not ready to head home yet, we headed toward a big antique mall...the only thing in another little town about 10 miles down the road.  En route, everywhere you looked was farmland, with some of the best barns... in all states of disrepair.  

IMG_0869 copyIMG_0869 copy I've really got to go back with a real camera and get some of the skeletal  photogenic ones.  This one was in pretty good shape!

The antique mall was sort of a bust except for the ultra clean bathroom, but the trip took us past a shop that featured Kentucky artists.  It, too, was nothing special, but as we drove along the backroads we encounter this...

IMG_0866 copyIMG_0866 copy and decided while we were here, we'd make a quick stop at the Amish bakery and greenhouse.   

IMG_0871 copyIMG_0871 copy And this morning, this was breakfast.  Think about the best sticky rolls you've ever eaten...and then imagine one just a bit better.  

Delish.

An ordinary outing...that felt extremely extraordinary!

 

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(stephanie young photography) Amish barns gardening photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/an-ordinary-outing Sun, 21 Mar 2021 14:03:11 GMT
Junegrass... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/junegrass IMG_0858IMG_0858 Junegrass continues to move along...split for the sleeves, the front is finished and I'm just about ready to start the garter border on the back.  This one is looking slightly smaller than the first version...which is affectionately known as the world's best sweater.  Hoping that some aggressive blocking will take care of this issue.  Gauge?  Who measures that?  I live for that element of surprise.  (Remember, this yarn has already been knit into something that didn't make the cut and ended up as assorted sized preknit balls of yarn.  I'm not beyond doing this again!)  I really need to take a photo outside...for once, I'm not knitting with gray, although it certainly looks like it in the photo!  (It's really a lovely gray-ish purple!)

Reading:

I finished The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles.  A good read, made better in the epilogue when I discovered that it was based on the courageous staff of the American Library in Paris during WWII.   It hops back and forth from the war years to the 1980s weaving the story of Odile, a librarian at the ALP and her ultimate landing place in Montana.  As she slowly discovers things during the occupation are not as they appear...you can understand how many Parisiennes could easily have been oblivious to the atrocities as they tried to simply stay alive among war's deprivations.  

 

Joining Kat for Unravelled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/junegrass Wed, 17 Mar 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Junegrass...in March https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/junegrass-in-march IMG_0851IMG_0851 I made a Junegrass sweater last fall.  I splurged and bought some Phoebe from Quince & Co and it was perfect.  I practically lived in this sweater all winter.  I really wanted to knit another, but I have a closet full of yarn and I don't really need another sweater.  I don't need another hat, mittens, scarf, shawl, socks or cowl either, truth be told.  But I have to....make that....HAVE TO...have something on the needles to knit and most of my stash now consists of single skeins or partial skeins.  Most colours don't exactly go together too well, either.  I take this as a creative challenge.  

After finishing hubby's latest socks (see last post...phew, no partial skeins to add to the mix!)I took a rather deep dive into the stash...digging through all the project bags for inspiration and found a bag of...... malabrigo!  I felt like I won the lottery!!  I had totally forgotten I had this...and, there is enough for a sweater (I hope).  I sort of remember starting a sweater with it years ago, not liking the pattern and ripping out what I had knit.  Lots of wound balls of assorted sizes and one unwound skein.  I have no idea how much yardage I have.  OK.  Sure.  I could weigh it and compare to the intact skein, but where is the adventure in that? I'm pretty sure I have enough.  I'm still crossing my fingers.  And it's early in the game.  I've split for the sleeves, so I have miles of stockinette with just a little decorative garter stitch edge along the side seams...absolutely perfect reading/knitting, only....

I'm stuck in the reading category.  Just not in the mood, I guess.

 I recently grabbed David DuChemin's The Heart of the Photograph off the shelf and this is as close to an engaging read as I've found lately.  I'm tired of WWII novels, my book club choices are on my kindle (why did I do that?), I have a couple titles downloaded on audible, but....I want a BOOK!

The Heart of the Photograph is David DuChemin's fifth hardback book.... I have all of them. (Can you tell...I'm a fan?)   He's a wonderful writer...and an outstanding photographer.  He talks more about the 'why' of photography than the technical 'how to' and never talks gear.  (His Soul of the Camera is a favorite!) He's a storyteller in his writing as well as his art. (He did a stint as a stand up comedian, so he knows how to spin a tale!) He's a humanitarian and world traveling photographer, has photographed on all 7 continents.   The subtitle of this book is 100 questions for making stronger, more expressive photographs, so I pretend we're sitting in a cafe, sipping our chosen beverage, and just having a little private Q & A inspiration time.  It's working.  And when I get tired of reading the book, I can always switch to his podcast, A Beautiful Anarchy...even if I've already listened to a session, it's usually worth listening to again. 

 

Joining Kat and hoping to get a new book list started!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/junegrass-in-march Wed, 10 Mar 2021 13:00:00 GMT
a litle this...a little that.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/a-litle-this-a-little-that IMG_0845 copyIMG_0845 copy The cashmere blend socks are finished; one of those projects you hate to see come to an end because the yarn was simply so beautiful.  And I knit every single itty bitty bit of it.  Check out the toe on the lower sock.

IMG_0844 copyIMG_0844 copy

 I was about 4 rows short. Hubby scored these.  He couldn't care less that one toe sparkles.

 

IMG_0846IMG_0846

The weather has shifted just a bit toward spring, the days are longer for sure, and the wooly Shetland cowl is carrying no appeal as we move into warmer days.  I struggle to add a single 'peerie' a day, so I think it's time for it to move to time-out until fall. It sure has been fun to work on...maybe it will just go to a close-at-hand-' time-out'  instead of getting a deep-dive burial.  

Looking for my next great fibery love.  Stay tuned.

Looky, looky...I cannot believe I own this treasure!!!

IMG_0842 copyIMG_0842 copy

A friend made this as a thank you for teaching her to knit and to rug hook... and for being the recipient of all my rug hooking supplies that I dumped bestowed upon her.  (I should have been thanking her for that!!!)  She has far, far surpassed any of my rug hooking skills and is totally...well, let's face it, she's hooked.  She designed this fun art piece...she hooked herself on the left (she likes purple), I'm in the middle, wearing grey (of course) and knitting with my favorite lime green, and my daughter is on the right, a free spirit knitter who is wearing her Tilghman blue sweater (she works at a school).  I absolutely love it.  I can't imagine doing such fiddly work (says the person who is making that Shetland cowl...it's all in the perspective, I guess).  

And finally...

IMG_0847IMG_0847 I just dropped off my part of a show waiting to be hung.  The really fun part of this is it's being hung at the Freight House restaurant, the restaurant owned (and operated) by Sarah Bradley, who was runner up on Top Chef a few years ago.  

Maybe I'll actually go out to eat before it comes down in May!  

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(stephanie young photography) knitting photography reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/a-litle-this-a-little-that Sun, 07 Mar 2021 18:14:10 GMT
I want to knit these socks forever... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/i-want-to-knit-these-socks-forever IMG_0840IMG_0840 Socks for hubby.  Plain, simple vanilla socks with some of the most beautiful, tactile yarn with which I've knit in ages.  And I got it 'free'.  Well, sort of.  Actually, not really, although it felt like it.  

I participated in a yarn exchange...sending off orphan skeins of no-longer-loved yarn, receiving in exchange credit to 'purchase' someone else's unloved orphan skeins.  Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering found its way to me...75% superwash merino, 5% nylon, and .... 20% cashmere.  It's really yummy scrumptious.  I'm just hoping that I didn't get  so carried away with the length of this sock that sock #2 ends up short.  Time will tell.

Reading...

Southermost by Silas House.  He actually joined the discussion with my bookclub a couple weeks ago.  Highly recommend the book.  Highly recommend anything he's written because he's such a darn nice person.  

The Paris Library was just delivered to my mailbox this morning.  I'll report back next week.

 

Joining Kat and Unraveled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) reading socks https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/3/i-want-to-knit-these-socks-forever Wed, 03 Mar 2021 13:00:00 GMT
a little visible mending... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/a-little-visible-mending IMG_0836IMG_0836 I know this look isn't for everyone, but I absolutely adore it.  And so I took a class.

How fun to 'go to London' today and take a class at Loop...my favorite yarn shop in the whole world.  The class was limited to a handful of people; it turned out 5 of us were from the states, one from France, and the rest from England.  Of course, the best part was being with a group of fiber-loving folks who all 'got it' when it came to the repair, reuse, recycle mindset.  The idea of a repair bringing a knit to a new layer of love wasn't lost on a single one of us.  

Most people were repairing socks, but a couple found some ratty old sweaters with challenging holes to repair.  I really didn't have anything (that I could find) with a hole, so I decided to practice on the above shirt?top? sweater? poncho?   layer thing because, while i loved knitting it (sometimes miles of stockinette makes my heart sing) it was something I rarely wore.  So what if I totally ruined it?  No big deal.  

IMG_0837-1IMG_0837-1 All it took was a tiny bit of colour...and I now love this thing.  Can't wait to wear it.  And to do this on a pocket...or elbows of a sweater...or on some linen...the ideas are endless.

Is visible mending something you so?  If so...on what?  Just for repair? or for decoration, too?  Inquiring minds want to know!

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/a-little-visible-mending Sat, 20 Feb 2021 21:54:40 GMT
Oh, the rabbit holes into which we descend... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/oh-the-rabbit-holes-into-which-we-descend IMG_0772IMG_0772

Something or someone prompted my descent into the rabbit hole containing The Oxford Junior Dictionary.  It started innocently enough with some basic 'conservation' search (what I was looking for is long gone in my memory), and then the descent took a deep dive that wound round and round and plopped me smack dab among some of my favorite words...acorn, buttercup, conker (I adore this word...sounds so much better than buckeye!), wren, ivy, otter, raven (Nevermore!), bramble, newt, and LOBSTER (as most of you know, my favorite food-group, although the FDA hasn't officially made it such).  And what do these words have in common?  The powers that be have removed them from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in lieu of such trendy current words as:  Attachment, Analogue, Broadband,  Block-graph, and Chatroom.  The trend appears to be to remove 'nature' 'outdoorsy' words  (although in years past, religious words have also been axed) and replace them with words associated with sedentary, indoor computer activites.  There are 10,000 entries in this dictionary. Wouldn't you think they could find a couple more pages if it really needed to be extended a bit?  Obviously, I'm not an editor. 

IMG_0771IMG_0771

Apparently Margaret Atwood, Robert MacFarlane and poet laureate Andrew Motion (among about 28 prominent authors) felt the same way, and called upon the OJD to remedy this error.    Robert MacFarlane did more than simply protest, and published Lost Words in 2017...illustrated by Jackie Morris with some of the most beautiful illustrations you will ever see.  In fact, she won the coveted CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for her work. It's a book that really spans all generations...and will touch anyone who loves nature.  

IMG_0773IMG_0773 It is a picture book, a poetry book, a nature-lovers book, an art book.  It makes my heart sing.

Joining with Kat this week.

 

Projects:  Finished socks...no pattern, just a basic vanilla pattern with 68 stitches cast on and a broken rib pattern.  

               New pair cast on:  Alana Dakos' Ivy Trellis Socks from Botanical Knits, using some very old stashed Rowan 4ply.

               A few more rows added to Fetlar Scarf from Shetland Wool Week Annual 2017.

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/oh-the-rabbit-holes-into-which-we-descend Wed, 17 Feb 2021 13:00:00 GMT
an oldie...but now goodie... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/an-oldie-but-now-goodie IMG_0755 copyIMG_0755 copy Winter on my Mind by Melanie Berg.  Isn't it funny what brings you back to a project?  

I was looking for a certain project bag for my socks-in-progress and the next thing I knew, my yarn closet was all over the den floor.  This was hiding in a bag (not the one I was looking for, mind you!) and by some really strange serendipitous moment on my part over a year ago, I actually put the pattern with the project, marked where I was on the pattern when I put this in time-out. The search for the bag was abandoned and total concentration moved to finishing this.  I had just started the third section of the shawl....the lace section.  After miles of mindless knitting in section one, followed by equally mindless stockinette in section two...I apparently wasn't up for the lace.  The lace pattern is one of those where you are doing something on both the right and wrong side..no rest rows.  It's not a difficult lace pattern...not one where you place yourself in time-out the entire time and require eveyone in the household (including the dog) to leave you alone in concentrated quiet. But, you do have to pay attention a bit.  I was sort of happy when I ran out of this orange yarn after 2.5 repeats (of the 4 called for on the pattern).  The shawl was plenty big enough, and my attention span had about had it.  

And so now I can return to the socks...

IMG_0756IMG_0756 And I guess I'll look for that project bag again.

 

In the meantime, I'm still somewhat stutter-starting with my reading, finally settling on rereading Tom Hank's book of short stories, Uncommon Type.  (Each has a typewriter in them...he collects old ones, you know.) I remember liking this a lot when I read it when it first came out, but I must have read it quickly, because I'm finding I'm not remembering much of it.  The joys of getting old.  A reread that's as good as the first time through.  Tom Hanks is as good a writer as he is an actor.

 

Joining with Kat for Unravelled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/an-oldie-but-now-goodie Wed, 10 Feb 2021 13:49:12 GMT
sticking to the books... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/sticking-to-the-books IMG_0740IMG_0740 I had such hope for this project.  I tumbled across it on Pinterest, then spent time on Ravelry (you know how that goes!) and decided in spite of my new committment to the books on my bookshelf, I bought it, downloaded it, and immediately cast on.  YAY, me.

IMG_0742IMG_0742 I really loved this pattern.  The mittens were supposed to take 1 skein of the main color and partial skeins of two contrasting colors.  Check.  I have some orphan sport weight (designated weight) that would be just right, and it was a mere 3 yards short of the called for amount.  Close enough.    I started knitting.  I have very small hands, so the fact that these looked a bit big didn't matter at first....and then they looked very very big...and they ended up giant.  Not sure how this happened.  (What?  Gauge issues?!?)  The mitten was about half knit when it became very apparent there was not going to be enough yarn for a pair; I soon began worrying that there would be enough to finish one!  Shortly after that, it became even more apparent that they would be too big for Sasquatch.  So, why did I finish it?  

  • That single skein of sport weight black had been in the stash for more than 20 years.  I feel lucky it wasn't moth eaten.
  • I liked the color combination.
  • The pattern was fun to knit.
  • I think this giant mitten will make a funky Christmas decoration next year, maybe with some greenery sticking out of it...or as an adornment on a wreath.  It could even hold a tiny gift.  I'll decide later.
  • And the best reason.  I didn't need to make a second mitten...because I couldn't.

So, now I'm back to knitting on another cowl/scarf.  I have an unending supply of Jamieson Spindrift and I rediscovered the pattern for which I bought this 2017 copy of WoolWeek.  I really like the subtle colors in the sample, but I'm using what I have.  

IMG_0739IMG_0739  

Stick to the books.  Stick to the books.  

Trying to finish The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison for book club.  It's a classic.  It's good.  But I'm reading it on my hated Kindle.  

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/2/sticking-to-the-books Wed, 03 Feb 2021 23:50:35 GMT
and another pair done... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/and-another-pair-done  

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Embossed leaves socks by Mona Schmidt from 25 Favorite Socks:Timeless Patterns from Interweave Press.  Knit in Malabrigo Socks.  I finished the other sock last night, so they really ARE a pair.  And the knitting basket is empty and there is no pending project...at least one I want to knit.  Bummer.

In the committment to knit from books for awhile, I'll be doing some book browsing this afternoon.  Running a bit low on usable stash.  HA!  Had you going there, didn't I?  I do have lots and lots of single skeins, various colors. I suppose I could find suitable colors to knit up a pair of Bernie's mittens, but honestly, they don't do much for me.  I do have a similar pattern in a Selbu Mittens book.  That could count.  And we are supposed to get a bit of snow tomorrow.  How like me.  Oh!  It's going to snow.  Let's make a new hat...or scarf...or mittens...to play outside, when in fact, the bins overfloweth with hats, scarves, and mittens already (lined, fleeced, intarsia, fingerless, popover, fair isle, aran...get the idea?) What to knit?  What to knit?  With single or partial skeins?    Any ideas?  Please!!!  (Don't suggest a mitered square blanket...I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE A FIFTH ONE!!! ... this reminder is for me; I briefly considered it.)

I'm just about finished with The Gone Dead, our town's One Book Read, and I've really enjoyed it.  Wasn't expecting a mystery.  Knew it was about race relations.  Well written, engaging.  And then...what to read next?  

I guess a knitting book.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

 

Joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading socks stash https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/and-another-pair-done Wed, 27 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
The year for books... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/socks-socks-socks IMG_0710IMG_0710 When I don't know what to knit...I knit socks.  My sock yarn stash has diminished amazingly, but as long as there are a few skeins left, I'll keep knitting them and then decide if I really must add more.  Can a knitter ever get to 'ground zero' in the sock stash?  Probably not.

But, the patterns!  What choices!!  Over the years I've been in sock clubs (some I continued for years), joined mystery sock events, scoured Ravelry and fav'd a gazillion patterns, and of course, bought way too many books, which have gotten lost in the melee of discovering all those other latest and greatest patterns.

But the books!!!  ....(I have a bunch of them; 1/2 a shelf worth of just sock books!)

This time, I closed my eyes,  reached out, and found in my hand Favorite Socks:25 timeless designs for Interweave edited by Ann Budd.   OK.  Find a pattern.  Merino Lace Socks by Anne Woodbury.  Perfect.  I had already ripped out a design I had downloaded from Ravelry that just wasn't singing to me.  Meriono Lace started singing immediately.  A week later....

 

IMG_0709IMG_0709 IMG_0708IMG_0708 Ta-DAH!!!

Well, that went well.  So before returning the book to the shelf, I decided it was worth one more pattern.  The first photo is the beginning of Mona Schmidt's Embossed Leaves Socks.  

And if that goes well, there are exactly 10 more strictly socks books plus an unending number of books and magazines with socks in them waiting for me. I think I might be set for awhile.

 

Cookbooks, look out.  You are next.   So easy to download a recipe from Pinterest even though I have an entire cupboard FULL of cookbooks.  Last week I downloaded a recipe (being in my 'lazy-butt-mode' that prohibited me from digging through cookbooks) that was called the Best Homemade Brownies EVER...because I felt like making brownies --NOW.   I even had all the ingredients on hand, so I didn't have to 'tweek' the recipe.  Hubby and I declared them awful after the first bite, I then dug out my tried and true recipe from my splattered tried and true cookbook, and a half an hour later we were in chocolate heaven.  YUM.  Wasted ingredients and wasted time...all because I was too darn lazy to dig through my cookbooks.  No more. 

Since I'm joining with Kat again this week...I need to mention the book that I'm actually reading, not just using...

The Gone Dead, a debut novel by Chanelle Benz, is my town's One Book Read this year.  It asks the question "Who are your people?" as it explores southern family history, memory, and truth.  I'm one chapter in...and still reading it.  Which sort of says a lot for the way my reading and book use has been going lately!!

That's all about to change.

As is our government leadership.  PHEW.  Gotta go and glue myself to the inauguration for a bit.

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(stephanie young photography) books socks https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/socks-socks-socks Wed, 20 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
pretty much sums up my knitting... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/pretty-much-sums-up-my-knitting _DSC3749-1_DSC3749-1 This pretty much sums up my 2021 knitting so far.  I started a pair of socks, turned the heel, and then ripped them out.  I dug deep in the UFO pile and found a shawl...which I finished, and then promptly ripped it out.  This translates as...five skeins of yarn added back into the stash, and none leaving it.  

Blah.

Since my reading has sort of been following suit, I'll report on that next week.

Joining Kat.

 

Elk from an afternoon visit to the Elk and Bison Preserve at Land Between the Lakes.  I'd be much more productive with both my knitting and reading if it wasn't for this darn camera.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/pretty-much-sums-up-my-knitting Wed, 13 Jan 2021 13:00:00 GMT
Stuck... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/stuck amaryllis bulbsamaryllis bulbs Stuck.  

Not growing.  Certainly not dead.  Just not going anywhere. 

Not a whole lot different than the virus...or my knitting...or our country.

Maybe tomorrow. 

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(stephanie young photography) gardening https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2021/1/stuck Fri, 08 Jan 2021 13:59:09 GMT
Resolutions? Nahhhh. https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/resolutions-nahhhh IMG_0694IMG_0694 Resolutions?  I used to make them.  Year after year they were always the same.  And usually left behind by mid-January.  

I then switched to 'word of the year'.  And after a couple of years of that, and waking up to the fact that they all pretty much were the same:  Mindful.  Aware.  Simplify.  Live in the Moment (I know.  More than one word...I guess I ran out of synonyms.).....I gave up on them as well.  Meanwhile, life did simplify a bit, and if nothing else positive comes out of 2020, I think it has taught us all to live in the moment and not to take anything or anyone for granted ever again.  

And that, of course, includes my poor puppy (who is really a senior citizen, but since I've only had her a little over a year, I'm counting these first few years as her puppy-years!).  Christmas Eve...let the puking begin.

It is now one week later, and so far we have not scrubbed carpet for almost 12 hours.  This was accomplished with two visits to the vet, a shot, blood work, an X-ray, and assorted pill bottles....currently all lined up looking for all the world like a senior citizen lives here.  And in the mix of diagnosing her gut problem (which may be as simple as secretly indulging in too many M&Ms in the middle of the night), her X-Ray revealed a severely arthritic spine loaded with bone spurs.  I got that same diagnosis years ago, so I guess we'll suffer together at some point, but at the moment, like me...she is finding the arthritis not the least bit debilitating...and is delighting in devouring her easy-on-the-digestive-system-designer-beef-stew-doggie-food.  

So, why the photo of the apple pie ready for the oven?

Cook more from scratch ALWAYS, always makes the resolution list, so is included in this year's un-resolutions .  (As does, 'use up stuff in the pantry'...which means I've got to eventually figure out why I bought that tahini paste and why I own both lavendar and chocolate sugar?) 

But, the real reason for the pie...it makes the house smell soooooo good!

 

Happy New Year, friends.  

Stay safe, masked, and healthy....unless you're near a freshly baked apple pie...in which case, take your mask off and enjoy.

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(stephanie young photography) baking Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/resolutions-nahhhh Thu, 31 Dec 2020 22:06:06 GMT
Monogamous knitter..since when? https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/monogamous-knitter-since-when IMG_0684IMG_0684 Since when have I become a monogamous knitter?  This is so not like me, but for almost the last year it's been one project at a time.   (It's a COVID-thing...l really love blaming everything on the virus, don't you?)  Of course, I guess then, it really should come as no surprise that I'm actually FINISHING quite a few projects.  And some of them were actually rather large, some rather complicated, and some just simply uninspiring.  But they are done.  YAY me.  

So...last week you saw the beginning of this blanket for my oldest granddaughter to take to college.  I have knit in half the yarn this week--6 balls of 220 yds each, 1320 yards knit/1320 yards to go (and yes, this is a very bad sign that I'm counting yardage already), so I suppose you could say that I'm most likely half way through the knitting, give or take a few yards.  My favorite part of this project has been using all my favorite stitch markers; I'm using a dozen of them, but I'm still taking a daily deep dive into the unloved and unfinished UFOs in what has been a futile attempt to find my Christmas boot marker that I know I own but can't find.  In two days I won't care.  Today, I still care.  

With all this knitting, you would think that I'd be flying through books like a whirling dervish, but that's not the case at all.  Still have the same books as last week...listening to The Guest List and reading Road to Raqqa.  

Connecting once again with Kat.  

Off to find that stitch marker!!

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/monogamous-knitter-since-when Wed, 23 Dec 2020 14:58:53 GMT
still playing the 'Good Housekeeping' game... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/still-playing-the-good-housekeeping-game  

 

 

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How to get preschoolers to help clean their rooms?  The 'Good Housekeeping is Coming' game, of course.  Now, before you young moms,  get too excited,  this really didn't work 40+ years ago and I would expect it to be even less effective now.  My children are 15 months apart in age, were as different as two little people could be at that age, but both equally nonchalant about the state of their rooms and toys.  As the 'game' began, my son would go quietly to his room and make his bed (and truth be told, even at 6 he could make it better than I could), declare Luke was ready for his photo shoot (he had the same Star War sheets Sheldon Cooper a la Big Bang Theory has on his bed) and go on his merry way with the day's melee.  His sister was another story.

'What time are they coming?'  'Should I put on my princess dress?'  'Will they look under my bed?'  'Are we going to make them cookies?  I can help.'  'Can we paint my room purple?' One memorable morning when the game was afoot...she disappeared into her room and was there for hours.  (It was probably more like 20 minutes, but I remember the blissful quiet all these years later.)  When she reappeared, she said she was ready.  As it turns out, she had cleaned out her Fisher-Price little people's house...and had actually found most of the furniture and people who lived there; they hadn't been together in years.  And then she told me, they wanted their house in the magazine, but she didn't want hers in it.

Like I said.  This game never really worked the way I dreamed it would.

Over the years, thinking back on this busy, blurry time of life I've often wondered why I chose 'Good Housekeeping' for the game.  I never bought the magazine...was more into Woman's Day for its crafts and Country Living for its home decor.  I guess a good marketing ploy always rises to the surface.  Good Housekeeping was a magazine everyone knew.  It was established in 1885 and became a monthly in 1891.  In 1939 the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against it for 'misleading' and deceptive guarantees; it's 'Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval' came under attack.  The exaggerated and false claims in its ads were forced to stop when the magazine lost the lawsuit.  But, it didn't seem to ever hurt circulation.  It's still out there today...I think.  I still don't buy it.

Over the years, Good Housekeeping never did come for a photo shoot, although a couple of national magazines and several local ones have.

And one is coming tomorrow to shoot a Christmas 2021 story.  Time to go play The Good Housekeeping Game.

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(stephanie young photography) home https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/still-playing-the-good-housekeeping-game Sun, 20 Dec 2020 14:46:01 GMT
Ready for the nor'easter...that's not coming my way https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/ready-for-the-noreaster-that-s-not-coming-my-way IMG_0670IMG_0670 Ta-dah!  

Coins (Kaffe Fassett pattern) is done and didn't quite use up all the Spindrift in the stash.  It made a dent...just not all.  Do you ever come out 'even' with a project?  Me, neither.  At what point do you cave in and toss the bits left over?  I have a hard time doing that.  I could have knit a few more coin rows, but honestly, I was just simply done with this project.

It's obviously big enough...it wraps around twice, to make it one of the warmest cowls I have.  Too warm for 20 degrees.  How do I know?

IMG_0667IMG_0667 This is me right before Shira and I walked this morning.  (I did put on a coat.  She did, too.) I had to unwrap the cowl before we got home.  HOT HOT HOT.  OK.  I'm old.  That's part of it.  BUT, 8 layers (in spots) of Sheltland wool needs real Shetland winter weather, and 20 degrees isn't nearly cold enough.  Of course, the wind wasn't blowing.  I suppose it will come in handy on those wind chill morning walks...when we move back to Buffalo.  Anyway, I like it and I don't think I have two rows exactly the same on the whole cowl.  I knit 47 coin rows and kitchenered the ends.  It should have been 48, but I messed up the coin spacing once, which made me need to end on an odd row rather than an even one.  Can you see it?  It's there somewhere.  I shouldn't have shown you the 'join' row.  Darn.  Ignore that, OK?

Next project is another biggie, but at least it's more condusive to reading and knitting.

IMG_0671IMG_0671 I can't believe my oldest granddaughter is going to college next year.  I asked if she'd like an afghan/blanket to take with her, and she surprised me by saying 'yes'!  Talk about a kid who is hot-natured!!!  I have 12 skeins of Cascade 220 superwash (she is taking this to college after all...gotta be washable!) to knit into it...a mere 2,640 yards.  I have a ways to go.

It was a rather productive reading week for a change.

Cher Ami and Major Wittlesey by Kathleen Rooney was a look into a slice of WWI that has been buried in the history books.  I loved it and how often do you come across a book written by a homing pigeon?

Talking to Stangers by Malcom Gladstone is the next book my book club is talking about.  A friend dropped off her large print copy yesterday and I almost choked...660+ pages!  You've gotta love LP books.  I finished it last night.  I think it will be a good book for a club discussion...he starts and ends with the tragic death of Sandra Bland and how this could possibly have been avoided.  He covers how Fidel Castro's Cuba duped the US intelligence services for years; why Neville Chamberlin thought he could believe Hitler; campus rape and pedophile instances.  Not really a book on How to Talk to Strangers, though.  My introvert self was looking for tips.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley.  I've been listening to this one...a death at a posh wedding celebration on a remote island off the coast of Ireland; it is read by all the different characters and each one has an axe to grind.  At the moment, I'm convinced they each did it.  It's GOOD.  Agatha Christie-like who dunnit at her best.  

Linking with Kat.

Gotta get back to the wedding.  BYE.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/ready-for-the-noreaster-that-s-not-coming-my-way Wed, 16 Dec 2020 13:00:00 GMT
the decked halls... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/the-decked-halls IMG_0662IMG_0662 The halls are decked...as are just about every surface that will hold a decoration.  And when I think there isn't another 'spot' for any more....(heehee) I find one!  And I've been doing this since before Thanksgiving.   The surprising thing is that just about every decoration has 'landed' in a spot it's never seen before.  Go figure.  

The kitchen...

(oops.  hold on a second...better...the first photo I took had my breakfast blueberries still on the butcher block....Lordy, I'll never be an interior design photographer!!!)

IMG_0663IMG_0663 This year, most of the very red red red things ended up here.  There is a Santa and a red candle you can't see to the left.  I love my foodie tree...

IMG_0612IMG_0612 It only sports things at least one of us likes.  (The cabbage and broccoli are mine!!!  The waffle and gooey sweet roll are hubby's! yeah, right.)

IMG_0611IMG_0611 Still in the kitchen is my little 'nook'....I hooked that rug in my rug hooking days and it never seems to find a happy place to land.  This is the best so far.  What looks like a cozy little cuddle-up spot, is actually...

IMG_0658IMG_0658 the jungle.  Most of the outside plants landed here because the light is the best in the whole house.  Fiddleleaf fig is pretending to be a Christmas tree and I don't have the heart to tell her she really missed the mark.  You can't see the shelf on the other side of the sofa.  It's loaded with plants, too.  The Norfolk Island Pine there said he did his stint as a Christmas tree LAST year and wasn't going to play this year.

 

IMG_0646IMG_0646 Stockings are hung by the chimney with care...but they are also hung in our bedroom and the ones there are bigger and can actually HOLD stuff.  

IMG_0621IMG_0621 The rest of the living room houses most of the pale-r or antique decorations...with the exception of the two mitered square blankets on the white side chairs (because for some reason the Christmas pillows that used to live there are MIA) and the Santa collection..

IMG_0644IMG_0644 that now covers the whole pie safe in the corner.  

Our Christmas tree is full of decorations from travels...or things that are meaningful...

IMG_0622IMG_0622 In this snapshot alone there are memories of a trip to Little Rock, to Santa Fe, to the Christmas markets in Germany, and of course...the cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky.  Shira is pleased that she got an ornament on the tree this year (not in the pic); she was feeling really put out that Freddie had about 4 ornaments, but then, he was with us many many years.

And look what I found in the scary basement over the weekend..

62960668270__1278B95A-E0FF-4574-BA3D-380AE162CFA362960668270__1278B95A-E0FF-4574-BA3D-380AE162CFA3 Completely covered with lights that still worked!!!  How many years do you think it was stuck in that corner?

Well, the snapshot tour is over.  And it really was just a snapshot.  The bathroom is decked...the fence is decked...the mailbox sports a wreath...the front porch is the recipient of many 'I wonder where this can go' decorations.  There will never be another decorating year like this one.

imageimage Thank goodness, says my friend.

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/the-decked-halls Mon, 14 Dec 2020 16:08:00 GMT
it hasn't all been bad... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/it-hasnt-all-been-bad image-doorimage-door I'm not going to try to make light of it. The past nine months have not been great.  Hubby and I are both old (according to the CDC) and we've been doing our best to be compliant.  We're comfortably retired, which mean that besides the real sadness of not seeing our family, initially the biggest disappointments were going to be with cancelling a few trips.  And the reality there is...we most likely would have had to cancel them anyway after Hubby's cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery.  (He still has some healing but his prognosis is stellar; we have much to celebrate.)

In looking back over the year (can you tell I've just written the obligatory Christmas letter?), I've found that I actually have had some major red-letter days which didn't make the Christmas letter cut.  I thought I'd share them with you.

  • The ceiling fan blades are clean.  At least they were in April.  I understand this might be a task that needs to happen more than once every 10 years.  I might check them again sometime, but not anytime soon.
  • The tops of the doors and windows are were sparkley clean and free from dust about 8 months ago.  Is that a job that also needs repeating?  I hope not.
  • Our white picket fence around the backyard is no longer green.  This was a win-win-win.  Because it was an outdoor project, we solicited help from a grandson who was sufficiently bored to think this might actually be fun.  We got to spend time with him, we socially distanced, he made some spending money (we could have had the job professionally done for probably half of what we paid him), and this job won't have to be repeated any time soon.   
  • I cleaned out and reorganized the one main closet in our house.  I had serious doubts that 'THE PLAN' would work, but it did.  When all the stuff was removed from this little space, it covered the living room, dining room, and hall; I now understand how Snoopy's doghouse works.  I can actually find things now. Novel concept, huh?  Sometimes I just open the door to this closet and smile.  
  • Yesterday, I cleaned out the scary basement.  I found a GIANT beetle bug that was the scariest thing down there...not counting all the trash and unloved things that had been tossed there over the years...most of which are now in the trash and recycle bins.  Hubby thought he was doing me a favor by scooping beetle up and tossing it; for a brief moment, I thought it really could become a star in a photo shoot, and occupy at least a good week or more getting all the dust and dirt off it.  It was a good thought but I'm going to have to find something else to do to fill those hours.
  • I successfully figured out how to get my computer to talk to my printer and print images that are almost close to the right color.  For untech-savvy people you will understand why this counts as a red-letter day.  I only cried twice.
  • For the first time in nearly 50 years of marriage, our house was decorated BEFORE Thanksgiving and I used every single Christmas decoration I could find...minus the Christmas tree I just found yesterday in the scary basement---which will be up today.  The Griswold's have nothing on us this year.
  • But....the very, very, very best red-letter day was the day when Hubby was bored enough to clean the doorknob plates that had at least 70+ years worth of paint layers.   I've been wishing for this to happen for the entire 22 years we've lived in this house.  

Christmas wishes sometimes do come true.

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(stephanie young photography) home https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/it-hasnt-all-been-bad Sat, 12 Dec 2020 15:59:46 GMT
Coins, coins, coins... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/coins-coins-coins IMG_0639IMG_0639 Kaffe Fassett's Coin pattern continues to grow into a cowl and continues to use up some of the assorted Spindrift that has accumulated in the stash.  Several colors are history...which is making the alteration between light and dark coins a bit more challenging.  I probably have only a dozen or so more coin row patterns to go, so surely I can figure this out.  I probably have a few more skeins stashed around in other projects if I get real desperate.  Not there yet.

I've loved working on this, but the one drawback is that I can't read and knit at the same time.  I've been reading the WWI book Kat recommended last week...told through the eyes of a pigeon (Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey: A Novel--guess which one is the pigeon)
 and I'm enjoying it, but I should have downloaded the audible version and I could have had the best of both worlds.  

I just downloaded The Guest List on Audible, so I should be able to move both reading and knitting along better this week.  

IMG_0638IMG_0638 I knew you wanted to see the inside, right?  With any luck, by next week, the ends will be kitchenered together, the inside hidden, and I'll be sporting the cowl...hoping for winter weather to go with the four layers of cuddly warmth!  

 

Joining Kat for reading and knitting and reading inspiration.  

 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/coins-coins-coins Wed, 09 Dec 2020 13:00:00 GMT
I made myself an unbirthday pie... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/i-made-myself-an-unbirthday-pie IMG_0633IMG_0633 I'm baking a pie.  Guess what kind?  Go ahead and guess.  (Bet you can't.)  Even if I told you this is what I got every year for my birthday instead of a cake.  (No.  It's not my birthday.)  Actually, I don't think I've had one since my mom passed away...no one could make a pie like she could. (We all say that about our mom's baking skills, don't we?)   Her recipe made three pies....and I ate all three all by myself.  In my defense, I was an only child, so I didn't have to share.  This recipe only makes one, it may not be as good as hers, but I'll probably eat the whole thing myself. Yes.  I'm greedy and possessive of it, but lucky for me no one in my family likes it so I have no competition.

Want a hint?

IMG_0635-1IMG_0635-1  That's a pretty big hint.  Surely, someone has guessed it.

IMG_0637IMG_0637 OH YES!!!

Shoo-fly Pie!!!  

YUM.

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(stephanie young photography) baking https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/i-made-myself-an-unbirthday-pie Mon, 07 Dec 2020 16:56:45 GMT
My mug has a new rug. https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/my-mug-has-a-new-rug IMG_0632 copyIMG_0632 copy A new technique...a new mug rug. I spent a fun couple hours with an international group of ladies learning how.  LoopLondon sponsored this embroidery on stockinette class taught by New Yorker Carolyn Bloom.  You know how people are with the chat rooms on zoom....Good early Morning from Kentucky.  Good afternoon from London.  It's the wee hours of tomorrow in Australia!!, but I'm here!!!  About 50 of us from around the world came away with this cute little swatch and a boatload of ideas.  Most of those ideas will probably stay in the boat for me, but who knows?  

The idea here is to make anchor stitches on both sides of the stockinette knitted 'fabric' and embroider through them, making your knitted piece reversible.  Here's the other side:

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And here is what you can do with the technique when you are good at it!

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With added stitches on both sides, the piece becomes a bit sturdier.  Then, I-cord binds the whole thing and hides the loose ends.

My piece would have looked much nicer had I used a darker and thicker 'embroidery' yarn; the unspun brooklyn tweed looks a bit wispy even though the weight theoretically matches the swatch.  Key word here:  SWATCH.

I'm calling it done.  My mug loves it.

Ta-dah.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/my-mug-has-a-new-rug Sun, 06 Dec 2020 15:59:35 GMT
colorful coins.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/colorful-coins IMG_0608 copyIMG_0608 copy Kaffe Fassett's Coins (MasonDixon Field Guide #13) is using a basketful of assorted colors of Sheltland Spindrift yarn; worked in the round, someday---what will amount to four layers of wool with all those stands crossing behind the scenes... this will be a cowl that will be warm enough to withstand the blasting cold air of Iceland.  Just hoping that the travel gods allow travel by the time it's finished!!! 

Reading this week:

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman....an old fashioned whodunnit in the vein of Agatha Christie.  This time, it's a group of seniors in a retirement home solving the mysteries.  Light, cute, and read in a single sitting.  

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig was another quick read.  What would you do if you could redo some of the 'regrets' you have in your life?  How would your life have changed?  Sort of like It's a Wonderful Life.  Definitely worth giving a day to read this one!

And now, I'm between books again, so hoping to find inspiration with Kat!

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/12/colorful-coins Wed, 02 Dec 2020 12:56:21 GMT
Go Steelers! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/go-steelers IMG_0603IMG_0603 Do I really have to wear this until Tuesday now?  

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(stephanie young photography) shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/go-steelers Sat, 28 Nov 2020 13:41:38 GMT
ta-dah! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/ta-dah IMG_0597IMG_0597 It's done.  FInished.  Over.  Ended.  And once again I have mixed emotions.  When I got down to the last 10 little squares to add, I thought they would never be finished.  But when there were only 5 squares left...oh!  Sad.  And before I knew it I was working on the very last one.  I started this the beginning of February 2016 (according to Ravelry), so I've been bonding with this blanket for the past 6 3/4 years.  When I was between projects, it was always there for me.  When I was tired of knitting with grey (which actually does happen occasionally!), it was there to give me a colour boost.  Winter months it kept me warm when I was working on it.  

I suppose I could add two more rows, but I won't.  It's time to be thankful that it's no long a UFO and move on.

But because of the mad rush to the finish line...reading was sporadic at best.  A couple Sherlock Holmes stories from an anthology I found while digging out Christmas decorations.  (Don't ask.)  And I haven't decided what will be next on the needles.  

I'm still joining with Kat this week....and hoping to get inspired with both my reading and knitting!  

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating this holiday tomorrow in the states!!!  For us, it will be a very quiet dinner for two while watching the Steelers.

And someone will undoubtedly be thankfully curled up on the sofa celebrating the finish of 'her' blanket.

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(stephanie young photography) holiday knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/ta-dah Wed, 25 Nov 2020 15:06:48 GMT
i'm in trouble when i start counting... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/im-in-trouble-when-i-start-counting IMG_0593IMG_0593 I knew this was going to happen the minute I started counting.  It's happened before.  Three times before, and I'm nothing if not predictable.   Last week I counted how many more little mitered squares to go to hit the finish line.  The number was 72.  Anything under 100 and I think I'm golden, which is crazy because there are 611 squares in the whole blanket, which makes that magic 100 number not all that close when you consider it's taken several years to get to this point.  

But, the game is a-foot!  Knit knit knit like a whirling dervish.  Knit, count, knit, count, recount because I have trouble counting jimmy-wonked rows.  Even out the rows.  Count again. WOW!  29 more squares.  Knit, knit, knit, count...32?  Oops.  Must have missed a few.  I'm dreaming in colorful blocks of color.  Up at 2 am.  I'll knit just one more square and go back to bed.  Three squares later I'm asleep on the sofa.  

Okay.  You get the idea.  I'm totally possessed and I hate when I get this way.  

Stay tuned. 

21.....and counting.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/im-in-trouble-when-i-start-counting Mon, 23 Nov 2020 15:14:51 GMT
my week in blankets... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/my-week-in-blankets This.....

IMG_0555IMG_0555 is now...

this.  

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Another Ridgeline Baby Blanket, a Purl Soho pattern.  It calls for DK weight yarn.  My first was made using sport, and it was a nice sized blanket, perfect for stroller use.  Baby's Mom and Dad loved it.  They said it was their very favorite blanket because it was perfect in every way...size, weight, colour (blue), etc.  They are both exceptionally kind friends and of course would pass along kind words.  Hopefully, they meant it, because baby #2 is coming along and they are getting version #2 of the same blanket.  This one is made from worsted weight yarn (covid choices were limited, although I love the colour!!!) and has turned out almost large enough to go to college with grown-up baby.

This one is made from Berrocco's Modern Cotton which has enough rayon in the mix to have made it a joy to knit.  It's buttery soft and should wear like iron, so there is a chance that it might actually see the inside of a dorm room someday.  Who knows? 

 

 

This left me between projects once again.  Nothing in the 'UFO basket' looked appealing, so when I'm stuck between projects, out comes the mitered square blanket.

IMG_0585 copyIMG_0585 copy

Mitered square sock blanketMitered square sock blanket I'm pretty far along on it...which means I've spent a whole lot of time between projects, I guess.  Far enough along, that I sat down and counted out how many more squares before it COULD be called done (72).  I do 17 squares across +16 squares across, .... two rows = 1 pointy row; and I have done 19 pointy 'rows' in the past. (Yep...this is mitered blanket #4.)  72 more squares...each square takes me 20 minutes to knit...that equals 24 hours.  WOW.  Piece of cake!  

Who wants to virtually bet that this will be done next week?!!!!

IMG_0588IMG_0588 Someone has claimed it, and couldn't care less if or when it's finished. 

 

Reading...on the Kindle again, which isn't making me a happy camper, but when I decided I wanted to read Anthony Horowitz's Moonflower Murders (2020, sequel to the Magpie Murders), I of course, wanted to start it right now. His books are always such page-tuners that I knew I wouldn't be using the Kindle all that long.    Another clever who-dunnit by the author who has brought us Midsomer Murders (PBS) and the Alex Rider series.  They are always good for a couple hours of good escape reading and I never ever can guess who dunnit!

 

Joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/my-week-in-blankets Wed, 18 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
knitting...interrupted https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/knitting-interrupted IMG_0582IMG_0582 I guess I should have said my ongoing knitting...as in the unfinished sock, the unfinished baby blanket, the unfinished scarf, the unfinished sweater that has been unfinished going on four years now...that all are currently residing in the basket of unloved projects got set aside this week in favor of----dishcloths.  6 1/2 of them.  I got 6 1/2 dishcloths from the three balls of cotton that Panicked Daughter left on my front porch.  I don't think my dishcloth marathon is over, but it's over for now, and the baby blanket and I are once again happy.  (photos next week..it might be done by then) I find that cotton really rough on my hands.  

So why dishcloths?  Daughter knits them off and on all through baseball season...and usually ends up with a glut of them at season's end.  This year she decided since she's given so many as gifts over the years,  she'd just sell the summer's bounty.  She made the mistake of putting it on Facebook.  (She's sort of big into social media.  She doesn't take after her mom!) And before she could say....WHOA!!!  she had orders coming in by the dozens.  Literally.  She says she's in pretty good shape now; I just hope she doesn't wait until the week before Christmas to beg for another dozen or so.

Reading:  I finished Set My Heart to Five, the scifi story of a bot that starts getting feelings.  I mentioned it last week.  Most of you are probably knitters who read this Wednesday 'knitting' post. You know how it is when you are knitting along and know that something isn't quite right?  But you keep knitting.  It might be you don't like the material you are making...wrong gauge, maybe. But you keep knitting.  Or you think you made a mistake, but you think you can live with it..knowing all along you can't.  But you keep knitting.  You may decide half way through a project that really you would rather have a pullover sweater than the cardigan you are knitting, but you keep knitting.  That was this book.  I never really liked it, although there were a couple cute recurring lines.  But I kept reading. And kept reading. Not sure if I expected it to actually get better...but it didn't. And then it ended.

Humans.

I cannot.

 

Joining with Kat.  Won't you, too?

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/knitting-interrupted Wed, 11 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
I think my days of eating poop are over.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/i-think-my-days-of-eating-poop-are-over  

IMG_0005IMG_0005

 Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  I'm still a Princess but my tiara is just a little wonky today.

I've lived with my mom and dad almost a year...and I've had a secret.  And last week mom discovered it.  And I'm a bit sad.

Let me back track.  As you know, I spent quite a bit of time in a shelter recovering from some really bad years.  My friends there not only took great care of me, but they taught me all kinds of things.  They gave me a new name (Shira) and I learned it.  I always come when I'm called.  I understand that when some fur-friends hear their name, they think of it as a suggestion that m-a-y-b-e they should pay attention, but not me.  I hear my name and I'm there!!!  I learned to sit.  I can lie down.  I'm pretty good at 'stay' (but not great).   I probably know more stuff that mom hasn't figured out yet...and believe me, I'm going to be the LAST person to tell her...especially after her 'discovery'.

She and I were doing one of our daily walks...sometimes it's just three walks, sometimes it's seven, sometimes I can't count that high.  I was having a particularly great time because.... someone/something had just been on the same walk!!!   Let me tell you...it was wonderful!  The smells!  Heavenly.  And then, you can imagine what I discovered!!!  Sometimes I just pee-pee on poop, but.....sometimes I just have to take a tiny, itty, bitty taste.*  'NO!' doesn't register in my outside world.  Neither does...STOP IT!  YECH! BLECH! EWWWWWWW! DROP!

But, out of the blue, I hear.... 'Leave it'.  It wasn't even very loud.  BUT!I...!KNOW!WHAT!THAT!MEANS!!!!  I hadn't heard that in almost a year, but somethings you simply don't forget, right?  So, I left it.  And continued on my merry way.

I had to sort of drag mom along.  

She was dumbfounded.**

Humans.

I cannot. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Mom says it's not very nice to talk about this kind of stuff and I really shouldn't write whole blog posts about it.  I hope I didn't offend anyone.  This is one of my very favorite topics, though. Just so you know.

**Just wait until she discovers all the other stuff I know!!!!

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/i-think-my-days-of-eating-poop-are-over Mon, 09 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Fast forwarding to 2054.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/fast-forwarding-to-2054 IMG_0579IMG_0579 This would be a photo of the Junegrass sweater...finished...except for the fact that it's wet and blocking.  I'll save the 'reveal' for another post.  Here you have Kalajoki socks, a free pattern by Tiina Seppala, that reflects the meandering Kalajoki river in Finland with its twisted rib pattern that undulates down the foot.  I made mine 6 stitches wider than the pattern and I'm hoping that I don't screw up the math and that my socks will end up mirrored as the pattern intends.  The last thing I need is another pair of socks, but I needed another scarf or shawl even less, so in order to keep my hands (and heart) busy this election day (yes, I'm writing this a day early)... socks it is.  (Hope you voted.)

Also shown are my....every-November-I-have-to-make-acorns acorns.  This is without a doubt the quickest little pattern, and IMHO one of the cutest.  You need felted balls, which I bought over ten years ago in bulk.  I'm still working my way through the package...and this is after giving one to all the members of my garden club---twice, and taking 100+ to a national garden club seed exchange, labeled as 'Quercus merino' and 'Quercus bluefaced-leicester', etc.  It did my heart proud that my 'seeds' were snatched up first by all planting zones!  The pattern for the little tops was written by Susan B Anderson, and if you google her name and acorn caps the search will take you to a blog post she called, 'Acorns a la Betz'.  

I started reading a book on my Kindle and I must admit it's not my favorite way to read, but you can't beat the speed with which you can start reading!!!  Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson is a sci-fi story, taking place in the year 2054. It was highly recommended by a friend, and apparently critics have found it a good read, too.

Part of a review from Paul Di Filippo of the Washington Post:

Jared is a fleshy robot, a ­second-class android citizen of the year 2054 who occupies many roles in his complicated life, which we will be privileged to share almost from his decanting to his tragic but inspiring end. He is a dentist; an aspiring screenwriter; an amateur philosopher; a fugitive from the Clouseau-like Inspector Ryan Bridges of the Bureau of Robotics; the dutiful son to his creator, Professor Diana Feng of the National University of Shengdu in China; and, most vitally, the lover of klutzy waitress Amber, part of the obstreperous staff at Gordito’s Taco Emporium.

(Jared would be very proud of me for using so many semicolons; he is a stickler for efficient communication.)

 

I'm not very far into it, but in light of what day it is (see above), it seemed appropriate and I need to be entertained!!! 

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  

 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/fast-forwarding-to-2054 Wed, 04 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
I got a manicure! and won the doggie lottery https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/i-got-a-manicure-and-won-the-doggie-lottery Good morning, Friends.

Shira here.  Talk about being a Princess!!!  I'm really ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung....and I can prove it, if you ever had any doubts.

Last week, I got a manicure.  Mom took a picture and we were going to show it to you, but honestly, my feet are not my best feature.  (I bet yours aren't your best feature either, though, so you'll probably understand my reluctance to show mine.) Mine have a bit of history.  In my pre-rescue days I never had my toenails cut, so they grew and grew and grew and curled under and grew some more and eventually I had a very difficult time walking and standing.  My shelter heros helped me a whole lot with my feet issues.  But, because my nails were so neglected, they couldn't just cut them and say, Ta-DAH.  They had to cut them s-l-o-w-l-y.  

Fast forward.  I was adopted, and my nails continued to be sort of an issue.  Mom took me to the groomers and they made my toes bleed. And I cried.  She took me to the doctor's and they made my toes bleed. And I cried. Precovid, when mom and dad went on a vacation, I went to camp back at the shelter with my old friends, and they trimmed my nails while I was there. All was well.    We all know the Shelter's job is not to groom every dog they've ever taken in, but mom didn't want me hurt again.  (Thank you, mommy.)  When she called, they said they'd love to see me...and of course, I'd  LOVE to see them! (I was actually looking forward to a couple more camp vacations when mom and dad traveled this summer, but that didn't happen!) Oh, happy dance!!! I get to see my friends!! Last week was my second trim.  Gosh, I love those people.

Not only did I get a lovely manicure, but....hold on to your seat....

they gave me TWO winter coats!!!!!  I think they were sort of my party gift.  I always wear a coat when I go out when the temperatures are under 40 degrees.  Remember, I don't have a lot of hair on my back.  The hair on my legs is growing some, but it's not quite where it needs to be.  I was wearing my girly pink jacket (the one mom put on me inside out the other morning, remember that one?) when I went in....and when I came out, my friend was carrying TWO NEW COATS .....for me!!  (They just got a huge donation from a local petshop.)

IMG_0569IMG_0569 So, here I am, modeling coat #1.  It's  PINK AND PURPLE!!!  What Princess doesn't love pink and purple?  Honestly.  This is the best, right?  It's puffy and quilted and warm and it fits like it was made for me.  I love it.  I just paused here for a second to get my stagnant water refresher and for a photo op.  YUM.  

I'm saving the other one to show you at a different time, but it's truly the best winter coat a girl could have.  IT MATCHES MY MOM'S!!!  (I'm not kidding.  It even has sleeves and a hood trimmed with fur and a place to put an LED light which I'm going to ask Santa for for Christmas, and a pocket to carry my own doggie poop bags!!)

Please snow soon.  Please please please!!!

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/11/i-got-a-manicure-and-won-the-doggie-lottery Mon, 02 Nov 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Boo! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/boo _DSC6882 (1)_DSC6882 (1) Photoshop and I hope you have a very spooky fun Halloween!

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(stephanie young photography) photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/boo Fri, 30 Oct 2020 13:51:36 GMT
Wednesday, again? https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/wednesday-again IMG_0560IMG_0560 How in the world did it get to be Wednesday already?  Didn't we just have one of those?  Wednesday is the one day of the week that is was my rock.  I connect with knitter friends at Kat's blog here.  I had lunch in the park with a friend on Wednesdays...until it got too wet and cold.  Something I looked forward to. Something I'm going to miss.  

Looks like I'm going to have to find something else to ground my week, or concentrate a bit more on the knitting thing...which, I actually, have been doing.

This is the Junegrass pullover by Carrie Bostick Hoge, using Phoebe by Quince & co.  First time using any of Quince's yarn, and it's as lovely as I had hoped.  Love the color, love the wool... one of those soft, scrumptious fibers that you just want to hug. It's a worsted/dk weight which is why it is pretty much flying off the needles.  The back is slightly longer than the front; there is garter detail along the sides that you can't see that ties together the garter borders. I'm planning to make it with 3/4 sleeves, so unless I get distract (moi?) I should actually be wearing this before the temperatures start climbing back up.  And the best part...I think it will actually fit.  I didn't do a swatch (heehee)...and when I measured my gauge as I was knitting, it appeared that the sweater was going to be swimmingly large.  I was ready to wear it with serious layering and say...'I did this on purpose'.  But as I look at it, it seems to be rather right on size-wise. I'd rather be lucky than good.  In 2020 nothing is turning out as expected, right?

Webinars and online classes got in the way of my reading this week, so I'm still listening to The Good Lord Bird (and still liking it a lot) and am still rereading The Poisonwood Bible and loving it, although I'm somewhat embarrassed to say it's reading like a first read instead of a reread.   That thought opens up all kinds of possibilities....I have months, maybe years, of books hanging around that I've read once.  

I could be set for the rest of the shutdown!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/wednesday-again Wed, 28 Oct 2020 14:00:00 GMT
Foraging.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/foraging IMG_0082IMG_0082 Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  Yes.  I'm still a Princess.  

Have you missed me?  One of my blog friends was worried that I wasn't feeling well because I haven't written in a couple weeks. I'm actually feeling great.  Who wouldn't feel great when their family is always around?  And when their cookie jar stays full, and their kibble dish is never empty?   Quite honestly, I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about concerning pandemic-fatigue.  

But my days are just sort of the same....over and over and over and over and over....and over.  But each one is good, good, good, good, good.   I take my mom for a walk about 2 and a half minutes after her feet touch the floor in the morning.  I'm happier about this walk than she is, and sometimes I insist on a longer walk just so she has time to wake up and enjoy the autumn air and the great new smells that a gentle rain leaves behind.  I even went out last week in the rain, I was so happy to start my day.

I did have one afternoon outing that didn't go quite so great.  I encountered Nickolai, a giant golden lab who lives down my street.  He's a very handsome fellow and I've admired him from afar, but we've never actually had the opportunity to meet before.  I had to pass him in the alley.  We had a sniffy moment and in the blink of an eye, we tried to tear each other's face off.  His mom and my mom decided we weren't play-date material.  I guess they are right.  I honestly don't know what came over me.  He's twice my size, but I think I could have done some serious damage.  I think I need to deal with my anger issues.  

Anyway...foraging.  Mom takes pictures.  I think you know that.  She decided she wanted to take pod photos.  Don't ask me where THAT came from.  So we set off on another of our walks. I always a willing partner in these adventures.   She finally found one--a milkweed pod. But.....hold on to your seat.   I found two squashed flat snakes!  I think my finds were far more exciting and interesting, but she didn't even stop to scrape up the smooshed bodies.  (I pee-peed on them.)

So, tell me.

Milkweed podMilkweed pod

What's the big deal with the pod?  

The bugs are pretty cute, but wouldn't you have rather seen snakes?

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(stephanie young photography) photography Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/foraging Mon, 26 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
and the little turnip said.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/and-the-little-turnip-said _DSC2227_DSC2227 'Pick me!!  Pick me!!! Oh, please pick me!!!', said the little turnip buried in the purple pile of produce.  All I could see was a teeny bit of her green hair.  But, I rummaged and dug and finally unearthed the rest of her. A few of her comrades tumbled to the floor.  I shoved them back in the bin.  They lacked her personality.  Yes.  She really was ready for a photo shoot.  Not a hair out of place.  First, she needed her portrait done.  A close up.  OK.  I'll photoshop out some of your scars.  Tough ride making it to the grocery, eh?  I'll leave a few scars for character.  

Turnip 1Turnip 1 Well, now...that's a nice pose.  

And you can dance?  Who would have guessed?

_DSC2228_DSC2228

You have a Halloween costume?  Really?  

Turnip 2Turnip 2 A tree growing out of planet earth?  

If you say so.  

I guess that means you won't be dinner until after you go trick or treating.

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(stephanie young photography) photography vegetable https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/and-the-little-turnip-said Fri, 23 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Baby, baby... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/baby-baby IMG_0544IMG_0544 When you are between projects...or when you just don't feel the love of a current project...or when your mojo has left you scrambling and crawling around Ravelry, does anyone else turn to socks?  Luckily for me, when I asked hubby last week if he was in need of any new ones, he confessed that a couple of his favorites were about to spring a hole in the toe.  YAY!!!!  I'm on it.  Now, you might ask...why the jubilation?  Why not get out the darning egg and let it do its stuff?  First of all, hubby really wears his socks.  I mean WEARS them...and wears them out.  They have been washed so many times (never ever dried in the dryer, though) that even the superwash ones have felted a bit.  I would much rather knit a whole new pair than rip back a toe or darn a hole.  Socks don't take me that long to knit.  I use plain socks as an excuse to while away an afternoon with a good book...either book-book or audiobook.  It usually takes me 3-4 days of knitting to crank out a pair for him and by the time I finish, I hardly know that I've been knitting on them.  (A good book will do that every time.) So hubby has a new pair of socks.  Good thing I have a couple good books going...that is without a doubt the dullest yarn ever (but he likes them!)

I've been listening to James McBride's Good Lord Bird (about John Brown and his abolishist movement, as seen through the the eyes of a black boy, disguised as a girl....you've got to read it!  It's wonderful.)and reading (a la book in hand) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  I had read this years ago, it was the second book my book club read as a group years before I joined them, and a couple weeks ago several of the members mentioned that it still remains one of their all time favorite reads.  I do remember loving it all those years ago when I read it.  (Baptist missionary family in the Congo, their lives told by different members of the family).  I'm appreciating it even more this time around after having had the opportunity to do a little mission work in Kenya and Ghana.  

Now that the socks are done...I pulled out a baby blanket I had started a couple months ago.  The Ridgeline Baby Blanket was a free pattern on PurlSoho's site and is one of those classic, clean looking, classy patterns they are known for.  I had knit this before, using fingering weight yarn, but the pattern calls for DK, so that's what I looked for this time around.  Baby, so it needs to be washable, right?  I'm not overly fond of acrylic anything, but I HATE working with cotton.  My 'as local as you get' yarn store had a baby blanket knit with Berroco's Modern Cotton (60% pima cotton and 40% modal rayon) and it's lucious.  Not splitty, not hard on the hands like cotton, and the color looks like a lovely natural, hand dyed pink, but it isn't.  Oops...it's worsted wt.  It's a baby blanket, so who cares how big?  Right?  I hope so, because it's turning out HUGE.

IMG_0555IMG_0555 I sure hope baby likes it...because it's so big she could probably take it with her to college and cozy up in her college dorm room. 

 

Joining Kat today.  
 

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(stephanie young photography) baby books knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/baby-baby Wed, 21 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Cheekwood and Chihuly https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/cheekwood-and-chihuly _DSC2038_DSC2038 Since March I've been taking photos of flowers.  Now, don't get me wrong...there is most definitely nothing wrong with nature photography.  But my heart sings when I'm someplace where there are people...doing funny things people do.  

A friend and I ventured to Cheekwood (TN) this week... along with what were probably several hundred other people...all masked....all social distancing.  The Chihuly exhibit was the draw, and it was spectacular.  The day was sunny; it was HOT...and high noon was not the best lighting conditions for photos, but that's when our tickets let us in.  I had much fun, but not as much fun as this lady, who is NOT napping, but taking a photo of the reflection of the glass in the water.  Now, that's a photographer for you!

_DSC2028_DSC2028   This little guy's parents were HORRIFIED when they saw him mount the lion and nanoseconds after I snapped this they swooped him off of it.  (He remained masked, while mom whipped hers off to yell at him.  Child control I take it is more difficult with a mask on.)

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_DSC2033_DSC2033 There were lots of couples....

 

_DSC2075_DSC2075 An escapee,  playing keep-away from his family....

 

_DSC2099_DSC2099 And this little guy who seemed rather perplexed that his parents would put him in a barrel.

I do love street photography....aka taking pictures of strangers.

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(stephanie young photography) cheekwood fall photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/cheekwood-and-chihuly Fri, 16 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
ombre, leaves...now what? https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/ombre-leaves-now-what IMG_0501IMG_0501 Ombre cowl is finished....and didn't disappoint.  Three colors made it just the right size, and I agree with one of the comments about the white being almost too jarring a 'bright' if added in the mix.  Muted, soft, cuddly...lovely.  Unfortunately, our crisp fall mornings have left us and we're back to nice, but warmer temps.  

On those cool days, I got excited that maybe ... just maybe...fall really was around the corner, and I celebrated.

IMG_0502IMG_0502 I knit some leaves.  I was bored after three.  Good enough.

So, at the moment, I'm looking for something else to load onto the needles.   Until I figure out a good project, I'll just work on some basic socks.

 

Reading:

I finished The Nest and it was very mediocre.  Started  Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes, Riveria Gold (by Laurie R. King) and so far it's OK but not going to make the 2020 top ten, I'm sure.  Two books that I have been totally smitten with, though are Small Space Style (by Whitney Leigh Morris of the Tiny Canal Cottage blog) and Wild Interiors by Hilton Carter.  I live in a small bungalow, so the Tiny Canal Cottage sings to my sense of living; but I go from loving the minimalist look (my friends double over in laughter when they hear this...my 'stuff' runneth over) to being over the top with the 'jungle' look .  You know that look... plants taking over your world.  The first cold night temps had me bringing in summering houseplants, and obviously they did exceptionally well during their summer vacation, because I'm really hard pressed to find them all winter homes.  Our current warm spell has given me another window of opportunity to rearrange furniture in hopes of finding more flat surfaces near windows.  The book has given me oodles of ideas....not sure how excited I am to climb ladders to care for them, but it may come to that.  

Joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/ombre-leaves-now-what Wed, 14 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
my phone got a new toy https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/my-phone-got-a-new-toy Iceberg roseIceberg rose IMG_0486 copyIMG_0486 copy Oh, the things we never thought we'd think we needed to do....pre-COVID.  My iphone has never been 'attached' to me.  It rings, I have to hunt for it, even though it's usually a robocall of some sort.  What's worse...is when it 'dings'; it's somewhere within hearing distance, someone wants something of ME, and I'm clueless as to where I last left it.  I sometimes think the only reason we still have a landline is for me to call my phone to find it.  

But, as I've spent more and more time in front of countless youtube videos and with umpteen webinars, I've stumbled across a few on iphonography (yes, that is a real thing) and I've learned a few things about my phone's camera.  It will never replace my DSLR, and most of the time I forget I have it with me....remember my day with 'the Beast' and the 'lily pads'? (That sounds like it should be the title of a book.)  But, I'm learning that the camera is actually not bad (yeah, I'm a camera snob, I admit it---somehow, this is related to being a yarn snob---and I hope beyond hope that my snobbishness is limited to those two areas)...the user still isn't very good (and there is most definitely a learning curve in getting a decent photo with it)....and you can't take any photo if it's not with you.  

So, with this new almost-respect for the new kid in my camera collection, I bought it a new lens.  A Moment 10x macro.  It's not my Nikon 105mm macro, but it's really not too bad.  We're both enjoying playing with it.  

But wouldn't you know...like any kid...it now wants a 58mm, an 18mm wide angle, a 14mm fisheye, and an anamorphic lens.  And neither of us even knows what an anamorphic lens. 

 

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/my-phone-got-a-new-toy Fri, 09 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
An FO...using orphan balls of yarn....a WIN! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/an-fo-using-orphan-balls-of-yarn-a-win image-11image-11 Arnhem Loop scarf is finished.  Another blue project for the person who doesn't particularly like blue.  But it does go with jeans pretty nicely, and it used up two orphan balls of lace weight yarn.  All in all a rather successful project, and it's nice and light weight, so this is the perfect time of year to wear it.  

 

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So, what next on the needles?  A dip into the Halloween-basket-turned-UFO-basket and I found the Ombre Infinity pattern (by Cynthia Parker) and 4 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Metalico, a 50% baby alpaca and 50% raw silk blend.  To say this yarn melts in your hands is an understatement.  Technically, it shouldn't have been in the UFO basket; the yarn hadn't made it to the needles.  But, it's started now. The pattern calls for 3 colors, I'm still debating whether I'll use all 4 that I have.  The fourth color is white...same color as the pumpkin.  What do you think?  Does it get added or simply make an appearance in a hat or mitts using the leftovers from the cowl?  

On to reading with Kat:

I read Deacon King Kong last week and liked it alot in spite of myself.  Usually, when I finish a book I LOVE (ie Anxious People), I struggle with the next read not living up to expectations.  I had not read any of James McBride's previous novels, so didn't know what to expect...but this won't be the last of his I read.  He's a great storyteller, depicts enticing characters you want to know better, and the pages just about turn themselves as you fly through this fictionalized Brooklyn project.  Most characters are more than they appear...both to the reader and their peers in the story.  And the icing on the cake for me...there was a bit of a baseball story threaded througout. 

My next book is doomed.  I found Nest (author Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney) on my bookshelf, and the best I can say at the moment is....I'm still reading it.  Four adult siblings...shallow and overindulged...counting on their inheritance to save them.  If anything better comes along to read, I'm probably on it.

 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading stash https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/an-fo-using-orphan-balls-of-yarn-a-win Wed, 07 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
the humiliation of it all... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/the-humiliation-of-it-all IMG_0387IMG_0387 Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  Is this the way a Princess-of-the-World is supposed to be dressed?

The temperatures are finally beginning to feel autumnal...at least in the morning.  Anything around 40 degrees and I really need my coat, since I'm still a bit nudie along my back and hind quarters.  A little hair has grown back, but who wants a cold hiney on a crisp autumn walk?  Certainly not me.  

You can tell from the early morning shadows, that this really was rather early last Saturday morning.  So early, in fact, that I had to get my mom up and out of bed.  (Lazy bum.)  We are wasting daylight!!!  It's a glorious morning!!!  I think her eyes were still closed when she helped me into my coat....and I was so excited that I actually got her moving this early that I didn't notice my coat was INSIDE OUT! until I was half way through the neighborhood.

How mortifying is this?  I was really embarrassed by the whole thing.  

The only upside...we didn't see a single person on the whole walk.  Not even one in a car.  Not even a scary cat.  The chickens weren't even out of bed.  

Maybe it was a bit too early.  Is 5:30am too early for you?  Just think, next week, the same time will be 4:30am.  

I can't wait!

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(stephanie young photography) autumn Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/10/the-humiliation-of-it-all Mon, 05 Oct 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Best book .... ever. https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/best-book-ever IMG_0345IMG_0345 Arnhem loop cowl is now on the needles.  Amazing what you can find when you actually look through all those fabulous patterns that you saved as 'favorites' on Ravelry.  (Be honest...how many of you save stuff and never look at them again?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!!!)  Again, I'm using orphan skeins of yarn...lace weight this time, so it's not exactly being knit at breakneck speed, but it's coming along rather nicely.  Almost mindless, portable, and stash-busting seems to be what I look for in a pattern these days and this one checked all the boxes.  It got started as many projects do...the weather turned just a wee bit cooler, and I decided I really wanted to wear this cowl---NOW.  At least, for the moment, I'm very motivated to finish.

The flowers were gifted to me from a friend whose garden far exceeds mine in every respect...and I adore the containers she sent them in....The 'Top Notch Pasta Sauce' collection ended up in my blue vase, the small 'arrangement' that really isn't an arrangement at all is in the Kentucky Bad Dog Jelly : Cherry Bourbon Habanero jar  which I'll be keeping just because it's such a cool jar, and the other 'arrangement' that didn't make the photo is in The Talk of Texas: Crisp Okra Pickles (mild) jar.  I love each of them.  The flowers are great...the repurposed jars, priceless.  

On the outside chance that anyone is following along with knitting progress...THESE socks I was working on last week are now finished. (Click 'these' and it will take you to a project page....don't know why the links don't show up well.  Sorry.)

 

On to the reading section, and joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.  

I just finished reading Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. Often my 'favorite book' is the one I've just finished, but at the moment, I don't think I'll ever read a book I'll enjoy more than this one.  It's funny, quirky, exceptionally well written, clever, emotionally charged, and has a lasting message of doing what is right, even when it's not always the right thing to do.  

I have no idea what I'll read next, but I know I won't like it nearly as much as this one.  Please help prove me wrong.  I need a GOOD recommendation this week!!  Thanks, Friends.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading stash https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/best-book-ever Wed, 30 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Bite https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/bite IMG_1851IMG_1851 Good Monday morning, my Friends.

Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  

I've had quite a worry-weekend.  My mom got stung by a bee. (I hope from the title of my post that you didn't think I  would bite anyone...I'd never ever do that!  NeVeR!!)  Now, don't jump to conclusions, either, about the bee.  It was NOT the bee's fault.  It probably wasn't Mom's fault, either.  Bee made a wrong turn and flew up mom's sleeve.  Mom, used to having all kinds of flying things attack her (mostly mosquitoes, ticks, and giant biting horseflies), immediately smashed her hand onto her sleeve (waving rather wildly I can only imagine...I wasn't there), and bee defended herself in the only way she knew how.  STING.  ouch.

Mom was knitting with a friend.  I don't think Friend even knew it happened.  No big deal, right?  By the time mom got home, her arm was red and swollen...again, no big deal, but soon it started to itch.  Actually, soon it started to ITCH, and that was a problem.  As I said earilier, mom is used to getting bit by all kinds of summer flying things, which I think is one of the reasons she really hates summer.  But, this itch wasn't like other itches.  All her itch medicine didn't do a thing.  We were up all night long...we tried creams and lotions and pills and ice; I offered my head up for a scratch when all that failed.   Through this whole miserable night, though, she refused to listen to me.  ME?  Me, who spent years dealing with all kinds of awful skin conditions.  In my pre-rescue days, I dealt with mange, and ticks, and bites, and fleas to the point that I lost all the hair on my whole body. I have the scars to prove it.   I know a thing or two about this...and believe me...

a good roll in the grass is the only solution. I demo-ed this around 3 am in the hopes that she would join me.

No go.  Nothing. 

Go ahead and itch.  

I'm out of ideas. 

 

UPDATE:  This was supposed to be my post LAST Monday, but I guess Mom was so distracted itching, she forgot to schedule it.  She's doing better.  The bee sting is only itchy now.  Probably because she got bit by a tick, and that is now ITCHY!  She never did roll around in the grass.  

 

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/bite Mon, 28 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
the radishes are still giving.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/the-radishes-are-still-giving Radishes 1Radishes 1 Early in the COVID shutdown, the only seeds I could find kicking around the house were some old, old, old radish seeds.  They were there because we really don't LIKE radishes.  Don't hate them.  Just don't love them.  But I wanted to mess in the garden and this was what I had, so I planted a couple rows of them.  And of course, they not only grew, but flourished.  

Several friends received radish-gifts on their porches regularly.  We ate a few.  And I photographed many.  When a recent photo contest offered a food category, I thought of my radishes.  They entered.  And they took a third place!

With this win, they will proudly hang in the Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee for 6 months, beginning December 1st.  

We're all pretty excited....the radishes and me.

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) contest gardening photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/the-radishes-are-still-giving Fri, 25 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
My basket overflowth... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/my-basket-overflowth  

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I came across a yarn exchange site...'good' yarn is exchanged for credit which enables you to shop other peoples' exchanged 'good' yarn.  I'm sending in a boatload of yarn I'll never ever knit in the hopes of being able to exchange it for a couple new treasures.  In rummaging the yarn closet (yes, the only real closet in our little 1923 bungalow holds my yarn stash...that whole concept is really sort of sick, isn't it?) I rediscovered a pile of UFOs.  This discovery just happened to coincide with my fall decorating...decorations having been stored in a giant basket (of course...there is no closet for them, remember?)  Now I have an empty mega-basket, so I decided to fill it with all my UFOs....just to see what is 'out there'.  No committment at this point to actually pick any of them to FINISH!  Heaven forbid.  And you know what?  I found all kinds of really great things in various stages of 'done'.  I also found some of my favorite needles and very very favorite stitch markers in these projects, because...duh? ... at one point each was my soul's inspiration of knitting...the project I couldn't wait to finish...the project that made my heart sing and that I would monogamously knit until it was done.  Yeah, right.  

So, what is now in my 'to-knit' basket?  A baby blanket, an almost finished pair of short socks, a scrappy lace scarf-that-is-wide-enough-to-be-a-shawl, another striped lace-weight scarf that I'd would love to be wearing now, a grey and marigold shawl that I adore, another scarf in an intricate lace pattern that will need me to put myself into time-out to concentrate on, a sweater...now that's an oldie but goodie...again in lace weight, and a scarf using the softest, most lucious yarn I've ever held in my hands...and it's grey, and finally---about 1/3 of the hexagons I need for a hexi blanket.  

I would love to think that I could whip through these projects in time to free the basket for the return of the fall decorations, but who am I kidding?  I guess it's going to look like fall around here for a long time.

 

On the reading front:

I just finished The Wild Trees by Richard Preston and enjoyed it a lot.  It filled in many 'gaps' to The Overstory...just what giant trees are---why they are here and why they need to be protected, all about the entire ecosystems living in the upper stories of the tall trees, and the lengths that biologists will go to study them.

Waiting for Deacon King Kong to arrive.

 

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading stash https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/my-basket-overflowth Wed, 23 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
hairy balls... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/hairy-balls African milkweedAfrican milkweed

Gomphorcarus physicaropus

When I saw this at the farmer's market, I just simply HAD to bring it home.  Hairy balls.  Aka Gomphocarus (Gomphocarus = Aesclepias) physocarpus (physa  from the Greek meaning bladder and karpos, fruit, referring to the inflated bladder-like fruits )...or Balloon Plant or Swan Plant or Bishop's Balls, or Elephant balls, or Monkey Balls, or Family Jewels Milkweed (I'm not making this up).  

Now, I'm far from an expert on milkweed, but I've spent a good amount of time around it with a Monarch Waystation under my belt, and several butterfly garden lectures, but this was most definitely a first.  In my defense, the milkweed I'm most familiar with are those native to Kentucky...common milkweed, swamp milkweed, butterfly milkweed, and poke milkweed.  And even then, I do best when those plants are toting their nursery labels.  Swamp (asclepias incarnata) and Butterfly (asclepias tuberosa) are the ones that I see the most and can fairly regularly identify (unless they are eaten to stubs...they exists for the Monarch caterpillars, after all!!!)

This one is a tropical milkweed from Africa, and is hardy in zones 9-11.  Like the others, this is a host plant for Monarchs..the young larvae feed on the leaves and the adults return to enjoy the nectar.    Apparently it is easy to grow in full sun, can reach 4-5 feet tall.  The flowers are white with maroon centers which somehow must resemble swans, giving it it's alternative name.

What I like most about it is how it photographed just like some of the old botanical prints.

It's a keeper.
 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) gardening photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/hairy-balls Fri, 18 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
The last ugly socks... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/the-last-ugly-socks _DSC1476_DSC1476

How do you decide what to knit?

Is it pattern driven?  Yarn driven?  Need driven?  'Where-in-the-h*ll-did-that-urge-come-from' driven?

As you might surmise, it was the latter that resulted in 'the last ugly socks' you see above.  I have a rather large project currently on the needles that isn't totally mindless (to be revealed at a later date...you're on the edge of your seats, now, aren't you?)and I decided (once again...bad decision) to use up some more bits and pieces that have ended up in the mitered square blanket basket. I will make scrappy socks and finish reading my book.  Rummage, rummage, rummage for some of the bigger balls that would otherwise overwhelm the blanket (color-wise).  Hmmmm.  That yellow has orange and green...rummage, rummage, rummage...phew, thank goodness I didn't make more pumpkins...and that blue is too blue for my taste but the ball is almost big enough to almost do socks all by itself.  There.  Good enough. Cast on.  GO.

You all DO see the fallicy in this 'plan', right?  It is twofold.  First, there IS no plan, and second...my 'good enough' attitude; these socks were doomed from stitch one.  The funny thing was, I didn't even realize what a disaster I was creating until I was well along.  I have been knitting a very long time...and socks are one of those things I think I have even knit in my sleep.  I don't need to think about what I'm knitting and I certainly don't need to look at my knitting.  This, obviously, is a mixed blessing.  Coupled with a rather good book, I didn't take a good gander at the work until it was time to do the heel. BLECH.  Too late now.  My hero was in a pickle, and I had to get him out of his mess.  Knit on.  

The really hard part about this project was forcing myself to make a matching ugly sock.  Now, I realize 'ugly' is most definitely in the eye of the beholder.  I don't wear bright colors.  My favorite color is grey.  Why I have so many crayola colors in my stash remains a mystery to me.  In my world, those colors only belong in a garden.

My book?  Simon the Fiddler (by Paulette Jiles).  Red-headed Simon was a secondary character in News of the World.  Not exactly a prequel to News of the World, it does take place about 5 years earlier-- at the very end of the war. It's a Romeo and Juliet wild west love story with a lot of Texas frontier thrown in for good measure.

And I guess those socks are paying homage to Simon's red hair.

 

Joining Kat for a yarn/project/reading linkup!!  Pop over!!!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/the-last-ugly-socks Wed, 16 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Chickens.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/chickens  

roosterpallensmithroosterpallensmith

Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  You know....ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  

Have I ever told you about my chickens?

Well, they aren't exactly MY chickens, but I visit them at least twice a day.  I sort of think of them as my chickens.  You know, when I don't see them, I worry about them and stuff like that.

I first found them when mom and I started walking the alley behind our house in the spring.  At the very end of the alley is a house that has all kinds of stuff in its backyard.  There is a shed.  And a camper.  And a truck and a car.  And a BIG cage.  And a smaller cage close to the house.  We didn't really pay much attention to all this...you know, the whole walk was so full of such new and exciting things....and just the most amazing smells you can ever imagine.

But one day...we noticed them.  The small cage was full of chickens!!!  For weeks, we just watched them from really far away.  (They are the only chickens on our walk, so they were special.)  It was about this time, that the big cage got an occupant: Scary Dog.  Scary Dog was a big giant German Shepherd and she barked like she was going to tear me apart every time we walked by.  To be honest, I sort of forgot all about the chickens, because I had to walk very very very fast past Scary Dog.  One day, Scary Dog was not in her cage, but was tied to a tree.  Her lead let her get just to the very edge of her grass, and oh, my....she charged and almost hung herself trying to eat me alive.  It gets worse.  Mom and I were minding our own walking business another day, getting ready to tiptoe past Scary Dog's house, when....she charged me.  She wasn't tied up.  I cried.  Mom cried and screamed.  Luckily, Scary Dog's Daddy was there and got her off of us.  We don't really know him, but he seems real nice.  He says Scary Dog is really a sweetheart.  I personally think he was lying, but thankfully SD was never off her leash again.  But, I digress.

By the time summer was here, my chickens were now free range and they sort of became my heros.  Not only did they live with Scary Dog who was sometimes tied outside their cage, but they also seemed to deal well with The Beast.  I wrote about The Beast here.  (Now, that creature terrifies me.)  I was never real sure how many chickens there were...sometimes I saw five.  Sometimes four.  They sort of roamed all over the end of the alley, in their front yard, in their back yard, in their side yard.  One even roosted in a garage part way down the alley.  A lot of times they hung out on the front porch of their big house.  I'm not sure how many chickens started out living there.....

But, I'm pretty sure we're now down to only three.  

And Scary Dog doesn't live there anymore.

You fill in the blanks. 

 

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(stephanie young photography) chickens Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/chickens Mon, 14 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Never leave home without Plan B https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/never-leave-home-without-plan-b Water lily #1Water lily #1

 

Plan A

I'm going to photography water lilies today.  
I even know where some grow...around a lake about 30 minutes from my house.  I saw them last time I hiked around that lake...which was....hmmm....maybe 5-8 years ago.  

Because I have no intentions of donning waders (which is sort of a moot point, since I don't OWN waders), I put 'the Beast' on my camera (the new-to-me 200-500mm lens) so I could get some relatively close-up portrait-like lily photos. 

  • bug spray.....check
  • extra battery....check
  • water....check
  • mask (although why I would need this I have no idea)...check
  • camera bag?  It's heavy.  I really don't want to haul that around the lake. The camera and lens already weight close to a ton and a half.   Leaving it home.

And,  I'm off. 

And, I'm sure you have already figured out the problem with Plan A.

No...the lake and water lilies were still where I thought they would be.  And surprisingly enough, there were still a couple lilies in bloom, although by far the lake was filled with pods, not flowers.  It was a lovely wooded walk, broken by slices of views of the lake.  The lens was perfect for the two times in that 3 mile hike where the slices of lake coincided with blooming lilies.  It would even have been okay for the heron that took off but I wasn't at a 'viewing' point when that happened. It was an adequate choice for a couple of monarch shots, although this was the first time ever I had to back up to photograph a butterfly.  The Beast is not ever going on a nature walk like that again....at least he's not going solo. 

The photos I missed:
I missed all kinds of late summer wildflowers.  I missed the frogs sunning on the path.  I missed the gently lit paths and the dappled light through the trees. I missed spider webs.  I missed so many varieties of fungi I lost count after the first 15 minutes. I missed little lizards or skinks...not good at identifying these things.  Of course, in my mind, if only I had had any other lens with me, I would have taken the most beautiful, perfect, arty photos of all time.  By the time the Beast and I slugged around the 3 miles, I was envisioning all the Georgia O'Keefe-type abstracts I could have done ...IF ONLY I HAD A DECENT LENS WITH ME!  (Because by this point, the Beast was declared the most useless piece of equipment I own.)

I'm still grumbling as I load myself back in the car...
and take my phone out of my back pocket.

My phone.  

Drat.

Plan B was (sort of) with me the whole time.

(Sort of because I really don't know how to take a decent picture with it.  Time to take an iphonography class!!!)

 

Water lily #2Water lily #2

 

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(stephanie young photography) flowers nature photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/never-leave-home-without-plan-b Fri, 11 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
zero waste shawl X 2 https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/zero-waste-shawl-x-2 zero waste shawl 1zero waste shawl 1 If one is good....

 

zero waste shawl 2zero waste shawl 2 then, two is better.

Zero Waste Shawl is just that...zero waste.  My first one didn't really test that concept...I had two skeins with the right yardage and I just knit.  If you think you already saw this one on the blog, you are right, but I identified it as 'hitchhiker' which every knitter I know has made at least 8 or 10 times.  It looks like Hitchhiker with the dog-tooth edge, but I was being a lazy butt when I wrote that post and didn't feel like getting up and finding out the name of the pattern I used.  My sincerest apologies to Katarina Linnhagen, designer of ZWS.  

On round two, the brillance of this pattern shines through.  This shawl consists of 2 partial skeins of yellow alpaca, a mostly intact skein of white alpaca, and a full skein of grey alpaca...all DK weight.  I had less than 3" of yarn leftover when I finished it.  Amazing.  This could be made with any weight yarn, with any number of partial skeins ... as long as you have the right total yardage.  I'll definitely be whipping out another sometime with a few more orphan skeins of leftovers.

On the reading front:

Still reading and loving To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (author of The Snow Child) and joining Kat  for Unraveled Wednesday.  Check out what others are reading and knitting!
 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/zero-waste-shawl-x-2 Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Labor Day https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/labor-day  

 

 

 

IMG_1849IMG_1849 Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  I'm feeling like a princess again.  Not sure what got into me last week.  My crown must have fallen off in the birdbath or something.

Anyway.  Today is Labor Day where I live.  (in the US)  I'm having a very happy day, although, I must admit this holiday confuses me quite a bit.  LABOR day?  Are we supposed to labor all day long?  I went for a walk early this morning, and to be honest with you, that might be all the laboring I plan to do today.   

At first, I thought this was a 'mommy' holiday, celebrating all the laboring we girls do to birth our babies, but my mom said no.  

And no.  While it IS sort of the unofficial start of fall, it is NOT the official September equinox.  We have to wait a couple more weeks for that. So, I'm still confused.  

Mom said I was sort of close with my first guess about laboring all day long.  Way way way back during the Industrial Revolution, people often did work all day long, with little pay and in horrible conditions (which I can relate to, but don't want to even think about). On September 5, 1882 10,000 workers took time off without pay to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City to protest those poor working conditions, lousy hours and pay, and to support the growth of labor unions. It was our very first labor day parade. And two years later, it officially became a federal holiday.  

So I guess a nap really is in order to celebrate the day.  Or maybe a protest.  I guess it depends which way you look at it.

Anyway, I hope it is the start to a very good week for you.

Your friend,

Shira

 

 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) holiday Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/labor-day Mon, 07 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Fig... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/fig FigFig

Train up a fig tree in the way it should go, and when you are old sit under the shade of it.
--Charles Dickens

 

My fig tree came to me mail-order about five years ago.  The description said it was hardy to Buffalo, NY, and since I once lived in Buffalo I thought we had an immediate connection.  It arrived as a stick.

I lovingly planted the stick in a substantial pot and it grew that first year.  It shot out lots of branches and leaves but no figs.  But it lived, and as winter approached, I lugged it inside the shed.  It promptly dropped all its leaves.  Well, okay then.

Next spring, I dragged it outside and before long, it showed some new growth.  YAY!!!  And before the season was over, I ate a fig.  One.  I don't think it was quite ripe.  But it was MY fig.  And it was delicious.  Before winter hit hard, I manhandled the pot back into the shed.  It had grown quite a bit.  It promptly dropped all its leaves.  I expected it this time.

Here comes spring again...and once again I managed to get my fig outside.  And it just sat there.  Leafless.  A few limbs were obviously dead.  I was devastated.  I trimmed it. I watered it.  I waited.  And I gave up.  Luckily, when it comes to gardening I'm a procrastinator, and by the time I finally got ready to haul it's poor dead carcass to the recycle bin, there were a couple of new shoots peeking out at the base.  By the end of the summer, it had recovered, was full of leaves, and the birds apparently ate all the figs.  Drat.  Time to go back to the shed.  

Season four went pretty much as season three did, although when I got no new growth for nearly a month I was pretty sure my luck had finally run out.  And then....here comes a leaf, then two.  With a lot of help from my friend, we managed to wrangle fig from its pot and into the ground.  It loved it.  It produced a few figs for the birds. None for me. The proverbial, you snooze you lose.   No hauling this baby inside this winter....time to see if it can really take Kentucky winters. 

Fig once again had a slower start to the spring season this year, which may not really be a slow start at all.  I was probably too impatient in years past.  Fig is now well over 8 feet tall, with two or three side branches that probably need to be shaped, but all the branches this summer are heavy with figs.  I'm still competing with the birds, and that's fine with me.  

This year there is more than enough to share.

 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) gardening https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/fig Fri, 04 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Never say never... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/never-say-never image-pumpkinsimage-pumpkins Do you have any idea how many little knit pumpkins I have?  I don't either.  At the moment most of them are in boxes labeled 'autum decorations'.  I can assure you I have many.  Some are needle felted, but I count them among the knit ones because they are wooly.  And there are so many of them because the same thing invariably happens every year.

About this time I'm totally done with summer in every conceivable way.  The garden is dried up, the veggies are dying, my window boxes are crispy, I'm so tired of being hot and sweaty, and I've given myself over to the last mosquito I'm going to sacrifice my body to.  I AM STAYING INSIDE....and pretending it's already fall (which is sort of an oxymoron because if it WAS fall, I'd be outside enjoying it!).  It's my favorite season by far, and in my opinion, way way way too short.  Any way to extend it, and I'm all in.

And what speaks fall more than pumpkins?  I can't think of a single thing. (I'm not counting apple cider, fresh baking bread, cinnamon scented candles, acorns and bright colored leaves, fires in the fireplace and firepit, s'mores, football games, sweaters, scarves, and all things wooly...which brings us right back to knit pumpkins, right?)  And these are so darn cute.  So, in spite of the fact that I already have dozens (somewhere), every year I rummage in the stash...gather all the yarn that could possibly (if remotely) be considered pumpkin colored (the options are getting fewer and fewer) and spend the day making happy little pumpkins.  In my head...this is fall kick-off.

Three is usually my limit before I'm burned out.  After which I declare to anyone who will listen (this year it was Shira)....I'm not going to make ANY MORE PUMPKINS.  EVER.   (until next September...to her credit, Shira didn't believe a word I said)

And now I can happily return to my almost finished scarf I was working on last week.

Just finished reading The Book of Longings (Sue Monk Kidd) and it was alright.  Time to move on to next month's bookclub book:  To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey (Snow Child author) I'm about three chapters in and loving it.  

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(stephanie young photography) fall knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/9/never-say-never Wed, 02 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Monday, Monday.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/monday-monday _DSC8358_DSC8358 Good morning, my Friends.

Shira here.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...you know...ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  Not feeling the 'princess'-thing this morning.

 

Me and mom (excuse me...), Mom and I (I know what is grammatically correct, really I do) were listening to Anne Lamott's book, Bird by Bird.  It's about creativity and writing.  Mom had read it a long time ago, before my time.  It was so long ago, she said everything was sounding brand new, but I have a feeling that isn't quite true.  

We were only minutes into the book when Anne was talking about good times to write, and right there....in her very book...she said Mondays are usually really bad days for the creative juices to flow.  

So now we know why I've been assigned Mondays.  

And today, I'm not feeling it.  

Good bye.

Your friend,

ShiraDogYoung

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(stephanie young photography) reading Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/monday-monday Mon, 31 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Layers, textures, and all that jazz... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/layers-textures-and-all-that-jazz  

 

BEFORE:

OwlOwl

 

AFTER:

Which do you like better?

Inquiring minds want to know.

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/layers-textures-and-all-that-jazz Fri, 28 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
in print... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/in-print 314AE60A-6DA5-48CE-86C7-E589D8CFF387 copy314AE60A-6DA5-48CE-86C7-E589D8CFF387 copy

The new issue of Bella Grace magazine is now available....and LOOK!!!!  That's ME!! 

All kinds of stange things have come about as a result of the forced COVID-confinement.  (This blog and website another example!) I guess it's truly amazing what can happen if you are bored enough.  Bella Grace is one of my favorite magazines...mainly for their beautiful photography.  It's really not my style of photography, simply because I don't have the skills to do it.  But, I certainly had time to try...and I decided to send in a couple attempts.  As an afterthought I added this little story to a photo of some yarn.  It was submitted to their special edition COZY issue that has appeared for the past couple winters...a lovely issue...sort of a big 'HYGGE-hug' kind of read.  

As you can see...they decided they liked my words but not my photo, so here I am...in the Fall issue.  I guess my camera and I have some more work to do.

 

That's Hitchhiker on the needles.  I bought this yarn on a close out sale....three balls prepackaged, tied up beautifully with a pink ribbon. It was an impulse purchase...I thought at the time I could do a baby-something.  Had I looked a bit closer, I would have known that wasn't going to happen! Louisa Harding Amitola is 80%wool and 20% silk.  It feels like you are knitting a lighter Lopi, a very wooly wool, unspun...not exactly 'scratchy' but certainly not baby soft, and certainly not machine washable.  Each ball is 273 yds.  I can be pretty matchy-matchy if I want to be!!!  I'll make this l-o-n-g....and then use up the leftovers for fingerless mitts (maybe) or a hat (maybe).  

 

Reading this week....

Sue Monk Kidd's The Book of Longings.  I'm liking it a lot.  Many have reviewed it already.

And the new issue of Bella Grace!!!! 

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/in-print Wed, 26 Aug 2020 12:58:23 GMT
The Beast... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/the-beast image-gigapixel-scale-4_00ximage-gigapixel-scale-4_00x

Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung....remember?

I'd like to introduce you to THE BEAST.

She's really been messing up my morning constitutional.  A couple days ago, she had her whole brood with her.  Two babes were playing catch-the-butterfly and romping all over and, if I do say so myself, looking pretty darn adorable.  (Mom and I didn't bring her phone.) We watched them for a bit, socially distancing, of course.  When mom dragged me along a bit closer, the kids had the sense to leave, but their mom....hunkered down.

And I was done.  Turned around and dragged my mom back up the alley.  Not going there.

Next day.  No kids.  Just SCARY CAT.  On that particular morning she was crouched down, looking like she was ready to pounce, and peeping out through all the weeds in the middle of the alley.  Well, no way Jose was I going down there.  Dragged mom home again.

And then THIS morning.  Just look at the nerve of her...blocking my way again.  The fact that I'm  8-10 times her size doesn't make a lick of difference.  I'm not going there.  Once upon a time...a long time ago...I tried that.  

I've got the scars on my nose and over my eye to prove it.

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/the-beast Mon, 24 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Spray and pray.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/spray-and-pray IMG_0188IMG_0188

I got a new (to me) toy.  I got a new (to me), big toy!  And with it comes a learning curve, which is really tough when you are a person like me with an attention span of a gnat.

I read all about composition and design elements and perfect light and while I KNOW what I should be doing, I spent the past couple days using another well loved photography technique used by millions of would-be (and, let's be honest here.... quite a few very good!) photographers called 'spray and pray'.  I prayed a lot.  I sprayed even more. 

DragonflyDragonfly

juvenilehummerjuvenilehummer

_DSC0361_DSC0361 OwlOwl

One-legged heronOne-legged heron The camera sees things I miss...I included two photos of the heron, because I simply couldn't believe my eyes, looking at just one.  Yes.  This IS a one-legged bird.  I watched him for nearly two hours...walking around, preening, posing, flying... and had no idea he was a special needs bird.

Sending up a few extra prayers as I spray away.

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(stephanie young photography) photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/spray-and-pray Fri, 21 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Ta-Dah!!! Finished Shawl https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/ta-dah-finished-shawl sladeslade When you cast on over 450 stitches for a stole-like shawl, your stitches are going to be bunched up...I don't care if your needle is super long or the stitches are lace weight.  So for miles and miles and miles of knitting, there is always that niggling feeling that a) it won't really be long enough to cuddle up in or b) the colors aren't going to look that great when they are stretched to the full width of the shawl.  

The length issue can be somewhat negotiable.  Blocking, as we all know, can turn an ugly duckling into a swan; it can increase a garment by nearly two sizes (ask me how I know this).  In this case...the length and width turned out just about perfect, and I'm thinking I will forego the blocking and live with the texture created by the lacey pattern.  

Not much other than overdying can be done, though, with the color issue.  I used leftovers.  Lots of leftovers.  The white stripe is actually more ivory than it appears, but still calls attention to itself. Without it, though, I think it would be exceptionally dull.  The other lace weight colors I had to pick from were black, orange (persimmon might have worked...pumpkin orange???? maybe not), bright blue, or grass green.  I think I can live with the ivory.  

Like a good book, I was sort of sorry to see this project end.  I'm plowing through the stash to uncover what the next project will be....I have some ideas, but nothing yet on the needles.  (heehee...I'm not counting the dozen or more UFOs of course!!!)

 

BOOKS...I'm nearing the finish line with The Overstory and have enjoyed this alot.  I've hugged a few trees in my day.  Enough said.

Queued up:  The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

                    Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles (author of the News of the World...Simon was a minor character in that book.)

Can you tell, my book club met?!!!  We were all able to socially distance on my front porch!  I really needed that!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/ta-dah-finished-shawl Wed, 19 Aug 2020 12:00:00 GMT
there is squash...and then there is squash... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/there-is-squash-and-then-there-is-squash Summer squashSummer squash My little raised bed garden has three kinds of squash planted in it.  When we were going nowhere but the grocery store in March, I rescued some seeds from a spaghetti squash we had for supper one night.  Cleaned the seeds.  Let them dry.  Planted them. And they grew.

When we ventured to the garden center a few weeks later, a lot of the veggie starts were gone already, but there was some summer squash.  I planted two little 'hills'.  And they grew and have been producing squash as if their tiny little lives depended on it.  The whole neighborhood thanks them, because truth be told, we don't really love this kind of squash.

Zucchini, on the other hand, is hard to beat in my opinion.  When I found some scraggly plants late in the season, I put them in the space newly vacated by the not-loved radishes.  It looks like we'll have a nice crop.  Zucchini bread, stuffed zucchini, yum yum yum.

But, back to the grocery store spaghetti squash.  It's been trailing and blooming like a pumpkin; it has crawled out of the raised bed, headed across the path, climbed over the brick wall, and is about the mount the greenhouse.  And not one single sign of a veggie.  Not even a failed one or one with a bite taken from it (a bunny sometimes vacations in the greenery).  

Unless anyone out there has a better idea...I'm blaming it on Monsanto.

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(stephanie young photography) gardening https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/there-is-squash-and-then-there-is-squash Tue, 18 Aug 2020 20:32:50 GMT
I got mail!!! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/i-got-mail IMG_0184IMG_0184 Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  Yes.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  That's me!!!

It's Monday and it's a wonderful day.  It's been a rather wonderful week.

I got mail last week.  ME!!!  YES!!!  I'm still having a hard time believing it!!!

I could smell my present before the package was even opened.  I danced.  I've never gotten a present in the mail before and it certainly made my day.  (I once got a postcard from my doctor telling mom I had to go get a shot...so I'm not counting that as mail.  It stunk.)

I've been very, very good, so I get pieces of my treat every day.  This is a photo of my very last piece of heaven.  

But, you know.  That's OK.  Because Hamlet sent it to me, and now I have a new (virtual) friend. (Thanks, Hamlet!)

 

Friends are forever, and are even better than doggy cookies. 

Remember that.

Your friend,

Shira
xox

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/i-got-mail Mon, 17 Aug 2020 12:30:00 GMT
and I thought this was stash-busting... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/and-i-thought-this-was-stash-busting _DSC0084_DSC0084 I worried a bit that this might not become a shawl....that I might run out of yarn when it reached the scarf stage.  What was I thinking?  There is obviously enough yarn here for two shawls AND a scarf.   I swear there was not this much yarn in the bag when I began the project.  Secret sex life of my stash.  That's the only thing that makes sense.

 

Reading...The Overstory.  Short stories (all having something to do with trees) that loosely (so far) tie together.  Maybe they will tie together more at the end.  I'm really enjoying this. 

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/and-i-thought-this-was-stash-busting Wed, 12 Aug 2020 12:30:00 GMT
I now have laryngitis... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/i-now-have-laryngitits IMG_1211IMG_1211

Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.

ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  You knew that, right?

First of all, thank you so much for the kind thoughts about my belly ache.  Mommy got me some medicine from my doctor and I'm feeling much better.  My medicine came wrapped in doggy candy that smells like a backyard barbeque and it's just about the most delicious thing I've ever eaten.  It was definitely worth a couple days of not feeling well for a week of these treats!

Now, though, I have a slight case of laryngitis.  And I worked very hard to get it I might add.  I had a very stressful Wednesday last week and am still paying the price.  There were two masked men in my house....dragging around the biggest, hugest, scariest, giant caterpillar looking thing....and making such loud noise I had to bark extra hard to hear myself.  For hours.  And hours.  I was totally exhausted by the time I finally convinced them they had to leave.  

It seems Mom and Dad smelled something funny that they thought was coming from a vent.  How very silly of them.  MY smeller is a gazillion billion times better than theirs and I could totally ignore it.  It smelled fine to me.  And I would know.  Trust me.  (Of course, we must remember, I think poop smells fine, too.)BUT...they thought something might have died in the air ducts and they needed to have them cleaned out.  Our house is almost 100 years old and we're pretty darn sure that this had never been done, so I guess it was OK.  Luckily, it will never have to ever ever be done again (unless something actually DOES die in there).  They failed to tell me what was involved in this clean out.  It was terrifying.  

I've been napping ever since.

Love,

Shira

xox

 

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/i-now-have-laryngitits Mon, 10 Aug 2020 12:30:00 GMT
they're heeeeeere!!! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/theyre-heeeeeere  

A flash of harmless lightning, A mist of rainbow dyes, The burnished sunbeams brightening From flower to flower he flies.
– John Banister Tabb

 

Finally.  I was beginning to take it personally.  

Everyone I know has been enjoying their company for months...except me.  And to think I almost missed their arrival.

I was visiting with a friend on my front porch when she squealed...  'HUMMERS!!!'  'a whole family!!!!'  Of course, my back was to them, so I still missed them.  They were apparently zooming around the one feeder that I had totally given up on months ago.  It was dry as a creekbed in August.  

I had just moved and refilled the backyard feeders (last week's 8.5 minute tour of the garden).  I have four feeders scattered around....three of which have been somewhat maintained since April in broken hopes of attracting someone to them.  Well, I did get lots of ants and a few bees but I'm not counting them.  We're in the heart of migration at the moment, so I suppose the shear numbers of birds are becoming desperate enough to come visit even me.  I don't care.  

One feeder is in front of my kitchen window and is the spot least visited.  I guess if you are an unexperienced juvenile you'll take what you can find...and then hang out, catch your breath, and pose for a couple pictures.

HummingbirdHummingbird Untill you turn, see some crazy black circle pointing your way....and then.....WHOOSH.  Gone.


 

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(stephanie young photography) hummingbirds photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/theyre-heeeeeere Fri, 07 Aug 2020 12:30:00 GMT
stash-diving again... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/stash-diving-again _DSC9920_DSC9920

 shale: a type of soft, grey rock, usually formed from clay that has become hard, that breaks easily….
--Cambridge English Dictionary

 

Shale, by Grace Anna Farrow.  It might become the shawl that it was intended to be, or it might be a scarf...depending on its size when the yarn runs out.  sigh.  The challenges of working from a dwindling stash.   Rather dull, boring, neutrals that somewhat 'go' together. I would have had more color choices for the contrasting eyelet (we know how I feel about blue, even though 72% of the world names it their favorite color) if I had simply committed to 'scarf', but the idea here is to do some serious stash-busting, and this was the contrasting color that held the most yardage.  When you get down to the dregs, you can't be overly picky.  


Notice (spring) Cardigan is finished (for now).  It's a bit long to wear over a dress (maybe), but who's to really know when the temperatures are in the gazillion degree range.  I'm thinking this might be a perfect, lightweight (because it seems I'm always hot these days)winter sweater to throw on with jeans and a scarf.  I still might do some afterthought pockets.  In spite of making it inches too long, I have more than a whole skein of yarn leftover.  Pockets, scarf, socks, hat, mitts...I could probably make them all with what is leftover.  ('Could' is the important word here...because, believe me, I won't!)

Reading this week:  

The Overstory by Richard Powers.  Chapter 1 was good.  It's definitely a conservation/environmental book...and I usually love those.

Murder in Malmo is the second book in the Inspector Anita Sundström mystery series. You may remember I recommended the first Inspector Anita Sundstrom mystery, Meet Me in Malmo last week.  READER BEWARE:  I was reading this on my Kindle and enjoying it.  I decided I wanted to knit and listen to something, so I downloaded this second book in the series.  In no time at all, Book 2 did a total rehash of Book 1, ruining the twists and turns, solving that mystery before I had a chance to finish my row and hit the stop button.  But, I'm now into book 2.  A totally mindless way to while away some time and get a few more inches further along on the shawl.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is working on and reading at Unraveled Wednesday with Kat.
 

IMG_0169 copyIMG_0169 copy

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/stash-diving-again Wed, 05 Aug 2020 12:30:00 GMT
belly-ache https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/belly-ache _DSC9740_DSC9740 Hi, my Friends.

Shira here. 

ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoungwithaBellyAche.

Remember this photo from last week?

I'm a little under the weather.

Mom blames my 'water dish.'

I'm sure she's wrong.

Oops.  Gotta run (literally)!

Love,

Shira

xox

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(stephanie young photography) https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/8/belly-ache Mon, 03 Aug 2020 12:30:00 GMT
About 8 minutes is all I can take... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/come-walk-or-roll-with-me _DSC9753_DSC9753

We may think we are nurturing our gardens but of course, it's our garden that is really nurturing us.
--Jenny Uglow

 

_DSC9740_DSC9740 _DSC9741_DSC9741 _DSC9745_DSC9745 _DSC9759_DSC9759 _DSC9766_DSC9766

 

As the temperatures rise, my time in the garden (and time weeding) fall proportionately.    In the 8.5 minutes it took me to run around the backyard garden this morning with the camera, I managed to pull about a dozen really nasty weeds and get 6 mosquito bites.  (My camera has this really neat little feature that tells me what time I took a photo; I really was out just 8.5 minutes.  I exaggerate some things, but not this.)

There was much more I could have shown you, but the mosquitoes were ready to carry me away (and that is only a very slight exaggeration).  

We begin our walkabout at the greenhouse, and if I hadn't been on such a tight time schedule, I might have noticed and removed the tub of weeds (for aesthetic purposes--it really lives right where you see it).

The hummingbird feeder is now in its third location...once again, cleaned and filled with fresh food.  And so far, no visitors. None.  Nada.   After talking with a neighbor who provides her hummers with organic sugar water, I've decided she's spoiling the neighborhood flock and anyone who might have visited is boycotting my poor fast-food variety of nectar. 

Shira came along to get a drink.  Birdbath water is better than tap water any day.  She chased a robin from her bath in order to imbibe. I missed that shot.  I really stink at bird photography.

Grapes, a confused clematis (all the rest of the clematis stopped blooming sometime in May), jellybean tomatoes, and heirloom tomatoes are sharing raised bed space with these ridiculously tall sunflowers.  Daughter planted too many in the school's butterfly garden, so I took a couple of seedlings that she assured me were miniatures.  These are about 8' and bound to come toppling down in the next big storm.

Cactus blooms, figs, revived lantana (it was dying in the wicker planter on the porch, so it got relocated and is currently thanking me with prolific blooms), and the tree hydrangea --also sending out its 'thank you' for not cutting it down last year when it looked as if it had succumbed to heatstroke and lack of rain.

The little wren house is housing it's third round of wee wren babies this season...and about 5 of those 8.5 minutes were spent trying to catch momma coming or going or catching baby at the 'door', looking for her.  As it was, mom just scolded me from the top of the vitex.

Zinnias are finally starting to bloom...I wish I had planted them sooner.  

Time's up.

Grab tomatoes for lunch....and blackberries for breakfast.  

And I'm out of there.

TomatoTomato

blueberries and oatmealblueberries and oatmeal

Back in the morning for another 8 minute weeding session!!!  

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(stephanie young photography) garden https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/come-walk-or-roll-with-me Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
S.I.P....sweater-in-progress https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/s-i-p-sweater-in-progress

 

Shira told you on Monday...I knit this too long, then it was too short, and now, it's once again on the long side, but instead of trying it on I knit on the button bands, and that pretty much sealed the deal on the length.  It's definitely okay.  I might consider some afterthought pockets, but they will definitely be afterthought...after it's done and blocked and maybe even after it's worn a couple times.    

This was an early photo shoot...it now has one and a half sleeves.  Close to the finishline.  Wonder what buttons would look good?  I better pay attention, or I'll have the second sleeve doing the ....too long, too short, too long repeat performance.  In spite of not liking the color, I'm liking the simplicity of this pattern.  It's Annestrick's Notice (spring) Cardigan; I love the pink, beige, and grey she used on hers.  This will most likely be knit again, and supreme copycat that I often am...I may copycat hers.  

The reason there was so much angst with the lengths? Reading and knitting and page-turners often don't get along...and such was the case this week.  I had a couple of goodies!

I finished An American Childhood, a memoir by Annie Dillard.  Great.

And then there was The Order, Daniel Silva's new Gabriel Allon.  Always a thrill a minute.

I finished listening to Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, a quirky Polish mystery that won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2018.

And, finally, I started Meet me in Malmo, the first in the Anita Sundstrom mystery series, by Torguil MacLeod.  Love Nordic Noir mysteries!  It grabbed me in the first chapter.  Always a good sign.

The last three are all definitely mindless, escapist kind of reading.  My bookclub is reading The Overstory for next month; I know it's received wonderful reviews, but I don't think it will be a 'page-turner, stay up until 2 am, just one more chapter' kind of read.  Which is good.

My sweater might have two sleeves that match.

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/s-i-p-sweater-in-progress Wed, 29 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
Multi-tasking.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/multi-tasking IMG_0127IMG_0127

To do two things at once is to do neither
--unknown

 

Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  

Happy Monday.  

I've been living with my mom (and dad) in this house for over 8 months now.  And I've noticed my mom has a pretty serious multitasking problem.  My dad --not so much.  In fact, I would say he's pretty good at focusing on one thing and seeing it through...whether it's finding something to watch on television (his focus is totally on the remote, don't try to get a head rub) or doing work on his computer (I've given up trying to get him to take me pee-pee...even if I really really really really have to go) or napping (forget it....he can't hear me for the snoring).  He does one thing at a time and does it quite well.

Mom, though....not so good.  I try to be a good example for her.  Like when I nap....I'm all about napping and get into a great snore-rhythm, just like dad.   When I decide I need a cookie, I'm so focused on that...and the world stops and nothing else is on my mind other than getting someone to give me a cookie (although I've learned that I have a really good chance of getting one if I time my begging when daddy is getting HIS cookie).  When I have to go outside....!!!!I HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE!!!!...(mom listens!!!), I immediately pee-pee, and then of course, run inside to get my cookie.  No messing around.  I'm focused on one thing and I do that one thing well.

Mom just doesn't get this 'do-one-thing-and-do-it-right' approach to life.  She might be cooking something on the stove ...she runs to her computer to check emails or order something or who knows what, and she falls downs an internet rabbit hole and the next thing you know the smoke alarm is going off.  Or she decides we can go for a walk, and the next thing I know, I'm waiting at the gate and she's picking veggies in the garden, has a handful of weeds, and she can't find my leash.  (I left it by the back door.) 

Or the very worst (and this happens about once a week day...she has a book in one hand, her knitting in the other, and is walking around the house (trailing a yarn ball behind her), asking if anyone has seen her glasses.  

Why does she knit and read at the same time?  She just had to rip out 3" of sweater because the book got good.  She ripped it out while watching tv....and ripped too far.  

I can't fix it all, but I'm doing her a favor ...I've confiscated this thing.  I think it's one of her books.  

BUT WAIT....some lady in there just talked to me!!!  Maybe she’ll get me a cookie!!!

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/multi-tasking Mon, 27 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
sunflowers, pt. 2...what a difference a week makes https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/sunflowers-pt-2 _DSC9494_DSC9494

I'm fading so slowly you aren't even noticing
--unknown

 

One week ago, smiling faces followed the sun.  Today...all but the 'babies' were looking at their roots and being sad.  And then there was this rebel.  Fading, but still standing tall.  

Today, the field was covered with goldfinches munching on all the seeds.  The fact that I didn't have a long enough lens to capture them, didn't keep me from trying.  I sort of burned out my battery and locked up my camera trying.  And why?  If my lens wasn't good enough for one photo, who was I kidding when I shot off close to 200 awful photos, the goldfinches no more than a golden dot.  Granted, there were a couple of pics that actually had 4 'dots' of goldfinches that got me pretty excited.  One shot even had three gold dots and an blob of black with a teensy red dot (aka a redwing blackbird).  Lots of post processing, adding pixels, reducing noise, extra sharpening and there still wasn't anything great, but since I spent so darn much time messing with them...here are a couple tries, enlarged a gazillion times:

_DSC9513_output_DSC9513_output I spent most of my time with the wildflowers.

Field of echinaceaField of echinacea EchinaceaEchinacea

Echinacea paradoxa

Fields of yellow coneflowers...with an occasional purple one peeking through the gold.  Can you find the one in the top photo?  Look hard.  And one stem representing the whole life cycle of the echinacea plant.

_DSC9676_DSC9676

_DSC9646_DSC9646

_DSC9665_DSC9665

Daucus carota  

Wild carrot, Queen Anne's Lace, bishop's lace...whatever you call it, it sure was prolific and beautiful.  I liked the thistle-like flowers best, although the lacey saucers were everywhere, too

 

_DSC9711-1_DSC9711-1

Campsis radicans

 

_DSC9697-1_DSC9697-1

Typha

 

Trumpet vine and cattails ... it was a whole different visit this week under overcast skies. 

The wildlife was a bit different, too.  Bees were still buzzing.  But these unidentified guys were doing their pollinator job, too.  

And, then there was THIS creepy thing ...

TickTick

 

Ixodida

... the blood-sucking, nasty, hateful, sadistic, ruthless, vicious, violent, heartless, merciless, disgusting, repulsive arachnid...TICK.  

Six of them came home with me.  I am not a happy camper!  #6 is skewered on my steeking scissors.  

So there.
 

 

 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) photography sunflowers wildflowers https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/sunflowers-pt-2 Fri, 24 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
trouble with knitting from stash... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/trouble-with-knitting-from-stash “I will always buy extra yarn. I will not try to tempt fate.” 
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

 

It wasn't even a question of playing yarn chicken.  I simply had a 'covid' moment.  

I had a single skein of lovely Lorna's Lace sock weight yarn from two lifetimes ago.  One skein.  152 yards.  I was never sure what to do with it, but it's summer and I thought maybe, just m-a-y-b-e I could squeeze out a pair of ankle socks.  Checked Ravelry, found a pattern that I read as using 150 yds.  Well, it would be close, but what the heck.  This wouldn't be my first rodeo playing yarn chicken. Nice little pattern...and it was free.  Can't get better than that.  Such detail for using such a small amount of yarn.  (Clue #1)  Knit on.  Gosh, that ball is getting awful small...and I just turned the heel of sock one.  (Clue #2).  Fortunately, I didn't knit much further before looking at the pattern again.  Yep.  Pattern clearly said it uses '2' skeins...not one.  Drat.  It's now frogged.  I guess I'll have to do a simple ankle sock with contrasting heels and toes unless any smart person reading this can come up with a better solution.

And while you are at it...  how about a possible rescue for hubby's socks?  I'm guessing I should run out of yarn somewhere half way through the foot of sock #2.  (I just turned the heel on sock #1...I really need to rip this out, don't I? OK. You're right...rip it now.  Thanks, I will.)

Two failed knitting projects this week.  I needed a win.

Annie Dillard's American Childhood is a definite winner!!  But, I still needed a knit win.

So, I started a sweater with the only sweater amount yarn in the stash.  It's malabrigo, so it's lovely to knit.  And I have oodles of it; probably enough to make socks, and mitts, and hat if I want to go with a real matchy-matchy look, which I would never do.  It's likely to fit, since I squeezed myself into it after I separated for the sleeves; I needed to check since I failed to do a swatch (says the person known as the Swatch-Nazi when I owned a yarn shop).  The fact that this isn't my favorite color is the only thing making it less than a wonderful knit.  I was wondering why it was even in the stash...well, it IS the last of the sweater amount, so clearly I've ignored it for years.  And then I ran across this wonderful quote, again by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee:

“It turns out that I will buy any yarn, even yarn I will never use, if the store discounts it by more than 50%. Do not be tricked, not all yarn is meant to be yours. No matter how good a deal it is.” 
― Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

Well. Now I know.
 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting socks stash https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/trouble-with-knitting-from-stash Wed, 22 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
Redecorating https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/redecorating IMG_0153 copyIMG_0153 copy

Channel a bohemian state of mind with an effortless dress paired with a must have embroidered moto jacket.      
--
Lubov Azria

 

Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.

Happy Monday. 

My mom redecorated my world.  

I loved my worn out white throw and my worn out white pillows.  I didn't do ALL the wearing out...I think Freddy helped quite a bit, because he sometimes tried to dig to China, the portal to which I understand is somewhere through the sofa.  I wouldn't think of doing such a thing, but then, I'm a girl ... and he wasn't.

The 'white' went with everything.  I could dress it up or tone it down depending on my mood and how much I was shedding.  

Just look what I'm stuck with now!  All these prints and patterns and color (granted, I can't see the color part too well). It's a little much, don't you think?  And there are plants e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!!  You can't see them, but trust me...they are there.  


This just doesn't look very 'princess-y' to me.  Too bohemian.  Maybe if I add some rhinestones and sparkles and a tiara.  And lots of pink.  With maybe a touch of leopard print?  

Think I'll sleep on it.

 

Love,

Shira

xo

 



 

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(stephanie young photography) decorating shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/redecorating Mon, 20 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
sunflowers https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/sunflowers Sunflower field #1Sunflower field #1Robertson’s farm

A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns
― Corina Abdulahm- Negura.

 

Peek-a-boo sunflowerPeek-a-boo sunflowerRobertson’s farm

SunflowerSunflowerRobertson’s farm

Sunflower budSunflower budRobertson’s farm

Sunflower fieldSunflower fieldRobertson’s farm

They just make me smile!
 


 

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(stephanie young photography) gardening pollinators sunflowers https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/sunflowers Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:41:30 GMT
can one ever have too many socks? https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/can-one-ever-have-too-many-socks

One can never have enough socks.
        --Albus Dumbledore

 

Bunny and baby blanket have been safely delivered to not-born-yet-baby's Grandmother.  Next up.  A pair of socks for hubby.

Does he need another pair of socks?  Well, of course he does.  One can never have enough socks.  Right, Albus?  Hubby might have a different take on this, but it's summer and it's hot and socks are small...so there.  Socks it is.

 

Reading...I'm really enjoying The Summer Book.  No real plot.  Just lovely writing.  Found it on the shelf while scurrying to find An American Childhood that Kat recommended last week.  

Love when I have books queued!!!

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/can-one-ever-have-too-many-socks Wed, 15 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
It's a scary world out there at night... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/its-a-scary-world-out-there-at-night IMG_0119IMG_0119

'My plans for the Fourth aren't finalized yet.  I'll either be cowering under the sofa or digging a hole in the tub'
--says one cartoon dog to another.

 

Hi, my Friends.

Shira here.  Yes.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.

I hope you are having a better Monday than I am.

And that you had a better Sunday, Saturday, Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, and Sunday, too.  You DO remember what happened the night before that, don't you?  WHAT?!?  You don't remember?  What's wrong with you?  OK. Sorry.   If you are deaf, I can excuse you for not remembering.  But, with my big ears, believe me....I heard every single pop, bang, KABOOM, sizzle, ZAP!!!  And it seemed to last for at least two lifetimes. My Dad slept through it...and my mom deserted me in favor of taking photos outside, so besides being out of my mind with fright,  I had to worry about her never making it back in the house alive.  

My life has been on an altering trajectory ever since, and I don't seem to have any control over it.  I can't bear to be outside after about 5 o'clock in the afternoon.  You just don't know when all that racket is going to start up and I'm not going to be in the middle of it.  I can't.  I'm terrified.  I'm too big to fit under the sofa.  We don't have a tub to dig a hole in.  I just need to be INSIDE where the noise bogeyman isn't.

But, my mom is having fits about my bathroom schedule.  It's MY schedule and I'm dealing with it just fine.  She just can't believe that an old girl like me can hold all her bodily fluids and stuff for nearly forever.  (I personally think this says mountains about her bathroom habits, but honestly, I don't see that THAT is any of my business.) So, every night, she literally drags me outside.  

Do I look like I'm wearing my happy face?  Well, I'm NOT!!!

IMG_0118IMG_0118 Please let me go back inside.  Please let me go back inside.  PLEASE. PLEASE.  PLEASE.

And then I get a cookie.  Phew. Escaped the bogeyman one more time.  

IMG_0117IMG_0117 And I'll cross my legs 'til morning.

Thank you very much.

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(stephanie young photography) fireworks Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/its-a-scary-world-out-there-at-night Mon, 13 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
Experimenting... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/experimenting _DSC8881_DSC8881

There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.
— Janet Kilburn Phillips

 

During this stay-at-home spring/summer, my garden has taught me a lot of things, all of which is pretty much summed up by that quote. If it's not working...try something else.  Or try things some PLACE else.  

I've never moved plants more than I've moved them this year.  Irises got bunched together along a fence; hostas have been corralled under the vitex...only to weekly find new volunteers coming up in their old habitat. I dig them and relocate them, and next week, there they are again.  Secret sex life of the hostas.  I think there is a book there.

Peonies, you have not bloomed well since you were planted nearly 10 years ago.  Let's give you more sun.  I moved them about 8 feet from their old home, and two weeks later,  I was sure they were all dead.  They are proving more stalwart than I gave them credit for.  One is looking good...the other three are still struggling, but haven't given up yet.  They are teaching me patience and hope.

The vegetable 'garden' (two raised beds jammed with veggies planted way to close to each other) is also thriving so far!  The radishes are finally done (thank goodness, but they gave me the opportunity to be generous), the lettuce is probably too bitter to really enjoy but it's still making an appearance in BLT sandwiches.   The summer squash and cucumbers....WHOA!!! are producing overtime. 

I'm going to have a bumper crop of a new to me cherry tomato called jellybean.

_DSC8869_DSC8869 I planted it because it sounded 'cute'  (I really know nothing about gardening, it's all an experiment).  They are candy sweet and most, so far, have been eaten in the garden.  This experiment will be repeated if I can remember.  The other tomatoes are doing OK, the peppers not so much.  Of course, they got moved twice because I kept planting them too close to the tomatoes.  Survival of the fittest.  

But the one big lesson I've learned about gardening, is....no matter how small the garden, there is always room for one more plant.  Look who joined the garden just this week?

_DSC8856_DSC8856

Platycodon grandiflorus 'Astra Pink'

She is supposed to be a mounding perennial who will bloom all summer.  She and a few siblings reside along a front border at the moment.  Her tag promises me she'll only get 10" tall.  10" will be OK.  Taller....??  Maybe not.

_DSC8873_DSC8873

Salvia superba 'East Friesland'

Phlox paniculata 'Barten'Phlox paniculata 'Barten' Phlox paniculata 'Barten'

 

UpTick GOld & Bronze CoreopsisUpTick GOld & Bronze Coreopsis Coreopsis 'Baluptgonz'

 

_DSC8892_DSC8892Peachie’s Pick Stokes Aster
Stokesia laevis “Peachie’s Pickâ€
Stokesia laevis 'Peachie's Pick'

And a couple others who aren't yet blooming and who will have wait for their photo op.  I could use about 5x or 10x this many to make a difference in this tiny backyard space.  Why haven't I been more diligent in years past?  

I have a new obsession.  Thank you coronavirus.  

  

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) flowers gardening vegetables https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/experimenting Fri, 10 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
pretty in pink... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/pretty-in-pink  

The tones of gray, pale turquoise and pink will prevail.
--Christian Dior

 

Surprisingly enough, my stash is getting a bit low.  (Please don't ask hubby if he agrees with this statement.)  After rummaging for all the pink DK weight yarn I could find (which of course was not all in the DK baskets, so there might still be a bit floating out and about in other UFOs), I pulled together a rather nice pile.  Maybe even enough for a baby blanket.

There were several skeins of Debbie Bliss cashmerino (wool, acrylic, and cashmere) which I still think is one of the nicest baby yarns ever and was so sad to see it discontinued... a couple skeins of Millamia (a particularly soft 100%s virgin wool left over from another baby something)...a couple mystery partial skeins...  a couple skeins of white who-knows-what to add to the yardage, although what that yardage is, I have no idea.    I'll just knit until I run out.   I cast on 150 stitches and started knitting, changing colors as the urge hit.  The fact that the pinks really don't 'go' together is totally immaterial.  It's a baby blanket and babies haven't established their fashion sense yet...I hope.

I'm down to my last couple of skeins, happy that I should have a blanket that looks like a blanket and not a squatty afghan square, when I learn that my most knit worth friend in the whole world...the friend who is given leftover sock yarn with every pair of socks I knit her because she mends and mends and mends them, cries when they finally reach the point that they can't be mended again, then hangs them in a little knit art installation she has created...is expecting a granddaughter!  Timing is everything.  

 

 



 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/pretty-in-pink Wed, 08 Jul 2020 12:30:00 GMT
Fungi... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/fungi _DSC9130-21_DSC9130-21

Mushrooms can be very fancy. It's the closest you can get to eating dirt.     
--
Tom Colicchio



 

Hi, my friends.

Shira here.  Yes, that's ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.

Happy Monday.  

I have a question for you.  What do you really think about fungus?  
Fungi?  Mushrooms?  Toadstools?  What do you call them?

The best I can figure out is...mushrooms are gilled fungi (no mention of whether you can eat them or not), while toadstools are fungi that you can't eat because they are poisonous, and toads love them and sit on them.  I think gnomes sit under them.  If I had my choice, I think I'd prefer toadstools over mushrooms; you can bet your bottom dollar I don't plan to eat either one of them, and I think toads are pretty cute critters.  Gnomes I'm not so sure of, but I'll take my chances. I'm sure I'm bigger than they are.  And I bark.  And I could probably run away if they proved to be too scary. 

So some people sit on them, some people sit under them, some people eat them, and some people take their pictures.

And then there is me.

IMG_0082IMG_0082 I just photobomb them.

 

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/fungi Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Full moon and fireworks...can it get any better? https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/full-moon-and-fireworks-can-it-get-any-better Fourth of JulyFourth of July

“Blooming under a cold moon, we are like fireworks...
Rising, shining, and finally scattering and fading.
So until that moment comes when we vanish like fireworks...
Lets us sparkle brightly,
Always...”


― Tite Kubo

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(stephanie young photography) fireworks full moon https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/full-moon-and-fireworks-can-it-get-any-better Sun, 05 Jul 2020 15:41:06 GMT
Celebrate! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/celebrate Flag and fireworksFlag and fireworks

"May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right." 

— Peter Marshall

 

Happy 4th of July, friends!!!

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(stephanie young photography) flag holiday https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/7/celebrate Sat, 04 Jul 2020 12:00:00 GMT
the joy of ear-cleaning https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/the-joy-of-ear-cleaning IMG_0061IMG_0061

Hi, my friends.

Shira here.  Yes.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.

It's Monday, and do I have a treat for you today.

You've just got to read this!   (You have to click on 'this', and it'll turn purple or green or some color I can't see because I'm color-blind, and take you where I want you to go.)  Go ahead.  I'll wait right here while you link to it.  Did you do it?

Wasn't that fascinating?

Just so you know...I've never ever, ever used a Q-tip in MY ears and I'll never have to, either, because my ears are big enough that my whole foot fits inside.  I have this thing with my left ear.  Only the left one.  It's the itchy one.  Every night while I watch television with my people, I gently massage the inside of my ear with my foot....and then....... vigorously lick my foot.

Ear wax. 

YUM.

Have a great week.

 

Love,

Shira 
xox

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/the-joy-of-ear-cleaning Mon, 29 Jun 2020 12:29:07 GMT
knitting hydrangeas https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/hydrangeas _DSC8816_DSC8816twist and shout; reblooming lacecap

 "A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms." — Zen Shin

 

 

I love hydrangeas for so many reasons.  The varieties!  'Twist and Shout' above...the first reblooming  lacecap...

_DSC8852_DSC8852blushing bride 'Blushing Bride' who is white with a teeny blush of pink...she'll bloom all summer, and her blooms will turn either pink-ish or blue-ish as they mature; she's a loyal one, a macrophylla, but she should stay somewhat compact.  

_DSC8850_DSC8850silver dollar Unlike, 'Phantom',  here, who will bloom his heart out with giant white flowers.

Hydrangeas are durable.

_DSC8851_DSC8851nikko blue; macrophylla Nikko Blue, who has insisted on being pink and not blue, is a great example.  She is now in her third home, and I think has finally found a place she's happy enough in which to bloom. If I had paid closer attention to her in years past, she would have been much bigger by now, and much happier; she has appreciated my stay-cation far more than I have.

I read somewhere that once established, you don't ever have to do anything to or for a hydrangea again.  It probably wasn't a very reputable source, but I've sort of found this to be true.  My kind of plant. So we planted a dozen more around our yard this spring.  At the moment they are demanding extra watering, so not yet fanciful and carefree; I have high hopes.  

And then, there is the hydrangea that you knit.

From Janel Laidman's book, The Eclectic Sole:  socks for adventurous knitters.  This pattern isn't particularly adventurous, but it's entertaining enough to knit a second time.  The first time I knit it using Jojoland's Melody that the pattern suggested.  This time, I found some unlabled yarn in the lace drawer, that obviously isn't lace weight.  Light fingering is what I think it must be, and it's lovely.  A partial skein is all that was left, but there should be plenty to finish the pair.  A pretty variegated yarn would suggest the muted hydrangea flower colors, but green it is what was in the stash, so green it is...

just like the three hydrangeas we planted early who are green, green, green, but so far refusing to flower.

imageimage
 

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(stephanie young photography) flowers gardening knitting socks https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/hydrangeas Wed, 24 Jun 2020 12:23:14 GMT
It's not my fault... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/its-not-my-fault IMG_0005IMG_0005 Hi, my friends.

Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  Remember?

Whatever it was...I didn't do it.

And I can't help that it's Monday.

The end.

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(stephanie young photography) shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/its-not-my-fault Mon, 22 Jun 2020 12:58:36 GMT
Yarnalong, again! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/yarnalong-again “I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”
George Washington
 

 

IMG_0029IMG_0029 American Dirt is my book this week.  Stephen King said it is a perfect balance between terror and love, defying anyone to read the first 7 pages and not finish it.  If HE thinks it's terrifying, then we all know, you can count on that.  What makes this even more terrifying than many of his creepy stories is the fact that this one is probably acted out daily in various stages by immigrants all over the world just looking for salvation from unthinkable living situations that have put them on the run. I can't stop thinking about it.  It's a book everyone should read.

My knitting is more joyful.

value study scarfvalue study scarf The Value Added Shawl (Purl Soho free pattern) is finished.  There are 5 subtle gradations, making it large, lovely, and so warm that I immediately put it away, hoping I won't forget about it in the fall.  It was such a rhythmic, easy pattern that I was able to read while knitting.   The shawl flew to the finish line, but I only got a little more than halfway through the book.  Unless I find another project, I'm going to have to pick between reading and knitting...because the one currently on the needles needs my attention, even if not my full attention.

I started a Coins scarf from book 13 of MDK's Field Guide.  I think I showed this before...

CoinsCoins I was swept off my feet with the pattern and the thought that I could use a whole bagful of yarn rescued from a failed project.  Nada.  Not going to happen.  I'm not feeling as if this was wasted time exactly...because now I really know why that yarn has sat for so many years.  I just can't knit with such bright colors.  Oh, there might be a couple colors I could use... a few charcoals and greys maybe, but for the most part these colors make my eyes hurt.  I know a nine year old who will think they are the most beautiful colors in the whole world.  And I think she might be ready for fingering weight yarn.  

I've moved on....to another bagful of neglected single skeins.  Jamieson Spindrift is one of my favorite yarns.  It's wooly and warm and the last thing I want to be knitting with in 90 degree weather, but just look at the colors in that top photo!  There are a couple pops of color that may or may not make the final cut for the scarf, but I'm much happier with the start.  

I just have to find an air conditioning vent to sit on while I knit.


 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/yarnalong-again Wed, 17 Jun 2020 13:05:58 GMT
Surprise! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/surprise  

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.      

Boris Pasternak

 

Hi, my friends.  Shira here.

Yes.  It's me, ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  I'm sort of getting the hang of this blog-thing. I think I may take over Mondays.  I haven't told mom yet, so please keep my secret.

 

Look.  Look.  Look.  Can you believe your eyes?!?

IMG_1860IMG_1860

I really couldn't!  My Daddy brought me this from Sam's Club.  I've never been to Sam's Club, but I'm thinking that it must be very close to heaven on earth if it has stuff like this.  

And the smell!!!  I've never had anything that smelled so scrumptiously delicious in my whole life!!!  Ever.  Now, don't get me wrong...my mom and dad shower me with doggie cookies, and in my 6 months of living here, I have managed to not only learn where my cookies are kept, but I have this awesome head throw stutter-step I do in the direction of the cookie jar to let my people know when I really need another treat.  I need treats a whole lot.  I must eat half a box of them a day.  I'm spoiled rotten.  

They think I deserve to be spoiled after the horrible first 7 years of my life.  I'm not going to tell them that dogs pretty much live in the moment. The past is past and I hardly ever think about those awful years except when I'm outside and foraging for water.  You did know, didn't you, that stagnant rain water is the tastiest taste treat ever on a hot day?  I've trained mom to keep the birdbath filled.  But I digress.

Just look LOOK LOOK!! at the size of this bag!  I have close to a gazillion pup-eronis in my future.  I'll probably make myself sick.  Honestly, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd get something this wonderful!!!

And just so you know how wonderful this is...I braved getting on the bag to get it.  (I'm afraid of all kinds of new things....and some not so new things like a camera.  I HATE GETTING MY PICTURE TAKEN!!! by the way)  

So I grabbed it....and ran to the dining room carpet.  Phew.
This even beats poop, the second most delectable taste treat in the world!!
 

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/surprise Mon, 15 Jun 2020 12:32:19 GMT
Random Acts of Art https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/random-acts-of-art Random Acts of ArtRandom Acts of Art

smile at a stranger...

 

Are you a magpie?  

The black and white Eurasian magpie is widely considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world and one of only a few non-mammal species able to recognize itself in a mirror test.  Magpies are well known for their thievery, avidly collecting shiny objects to adorn their nests.  --Wikipedia (what else?)

I'm close.  Most intelligent? Probably not. I can, though,  still barely recognize myself in a mirror.  If I don't get a haircut soon, that might change.  I'm no thief, but I certainly am a 'gatherer'...shiny or not, makes no difference...and I drag my treasures home to adorn my nest.  My 'gatherings' sometimes include nests, although never until a storm blows them from an eave or tree, and so far this rainy, stormy spring, only one nest has blown my way.  I tried telling Ms. Robin that she chose a really poor place this year in the light fixture under the eaves, but she obviously thought differently, because after she lost her first nest, she rebuilt in the same spot.  I've got to give her credit...this one has 'weathered' quite a few storms.  

NestNest (Her first one was much tidier; guess she was in a bit of a hurry the second time around.)

No beach vacations for us this year, where I excel at seashore detritus gathering!  My 'gatherings' have had to remain local.   Dog walks(four, five, sometimes six times a day depending on Shira)...focus primarily on neighborhood alleys...but, oh!  what treasures abound.  So far, I have uncovered a penny, a PlaySchool plastic magnetic 'V', the front and back seats of a car (which did NOT come with me, I have some standards), a pointed garden tool or mortar spreader (which also got left behind), a golf ball that was buried in the dirt, and this...

Ten dollarsTen dollars I'd like to take credit for this find, but Shira sniffed it and clawed it out of the dirt.  It was obviously buried for quite awhile.  Did you know, that filthy, torn, damaged money is still good if half of it is in tact?  I took this to the bank, and no questions asked...they handed over a nice, clean $10 bill, which Shira promptly spent on doggie cookies.  She did find it, after all.

This morning I concentrated my gatherings on stuff growing in ditches.  I had a theme going...Shira had a delightful walk...and I yanked and pulled at weeds that I hoped hadn't been pee-peed on.  Someone has sweet peas growing in their untamed alley space; I carefully lifted only a couple blooms...they were by far the prettiest find of the walk; others I'm sure are enjoying them like I am.  

And then, I took their picture.

Lightbox flowersLightbox flowers
How could the day get better than that?

And then it did.  

The Random Act of Art (see above) was securely nestled in a plastic bag, weighted down with rocks, right at our neighborhood intersection.  I wonder how many people walked past it?  I almost did, but....it's that magpie thing.  Bright, pretty colors.  Had to see what it was.  What a fun project this was for the young artist....and for the old photographer.  I made her art into a card.  I know her art teacher, and somehow, we'll surprise her with my random snail mail art.

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(stephanie young photography) photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/random-acts-of-art Fri, 12 Jun 2020 12:11:06 GMT
Yarnalong https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/yarnalong Knitting and reading, reading and knitting
both at the same time is the best!

 

Value Study ShawlValue Study Shawl

I just finished The Story of More by Hope Jahren (author of Lab Girl, another great read).  This is so much more than a climate change book; for the first time, I really understand how complicated this issue is.  And everyone...whether you are an ardent environmentalist or a nay-sayer...is contributing to the problem.  Not because we want to, or are ignoring the growing issues, but it's simply how our world has developed over the last few centuries.  Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist, a passionate teacher, and makes the link between what is happening in our world and why it's happening understandable.  She looks at population growth, child mortality, grain production, farming, our eating habits, sugar, energy, travel, fossil fuel, plastics, temperature, and plant and animal species decline.  It all fits together.  It makes sense.  And there is no quick solution.  We didn't get where we are overnight.  But she has hope for the future.  Interesting and very, very readable.

And about 1/4 of my Value Study Shawl got knit reading it.  Only one more color change to go! 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) knitting reading https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/yarnalong Wed, 10 Jun 2020 02:27:25 GMT
radishes https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/radishes Radishes 2Radishes 2

The worm in the radish doesn't think there is anything sweeter
--Sholom Aleichem

 

When the quarantine hit, it was time to plant veggies.  I was a good girl and stayed home.  Surely, there is SOMETHING around here that I can find to plant.  After rummaging through that candle box in the photo that the radishes are on (that holds seeds not candles), I was pleasantly surprised to find a packet of radish seeds.  From 2008.  We don't particularly like radishes, can you tell?  YAY.  Off to the garden.  

The raised veggie bed wasn't exactly ready to be planted, but having nothing better to do I planted the radishes anyway.  Just so you know...12 year old radish seeds germinate just great!  Better than great.  Little seedling radishes were everywhere, all smushed together.  Along comes the dirt delivery for the vegetable garden.  I carefully removed the seedlings, dumped the dirt in the garden, and replanted the babies. (Can you tell, I'm getting rather attached to the radishes at this point.)  I'm not a gardener.   I had always heard you need to thin seedlings so they will grow well which of course makes all the sense in the world, but how can you choose which ones live and which ones die?   I always let everything live.  This time, I let them live if they cooperated with their relocation project.  (They had the whole garden, remember, because I had nothing else to plant there).  

So, now we have radishes.  A whole lot of radishes.  

I would have washed the dirt from them if I had any intention of eating them.  

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) gardening photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/radishes Sun, 07 Jun 2020 17:27:12 GMT
what big ears you have...better to hear you with, my dear https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/what-big-ears-you-have-better-to-hear-you-with-my-dear  

The ear is the avenue to the heart

--Voltaire

 

_DSC8358_DSC8358

Hi, my friends.  Shira here.

Yes.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  

We're all friends, here, right?  Be honest.  Do these ears make me look fat?

My Daddy calls me Yoda-Ears sometimes and I think he's making fun of me, but I'm not sure.  Yoda was small and I'm not.  Yoda was wise; I do have a bit of street-smarts about me.  And Yoda was agile.  The verdict is still out on how I fare in that category.  I don't trip over my feet, so maybe I am.  But I don't think this really describes me.  And anyway, Yoda was a guy and I'm definitely a girly-girl.  

He could have called me Mimi...that Japanese for 'ears' and sounds like a girl name.

I'm surprised he doesn't call me Spock, because he LOVES LOVES LOVES all things Star Trek.

At least Dumbo, Eeoye, Dobby (house elf) and Ernie (head Keebler elf) seem to be off the table.  Did you know that Midas  probably would have been famous for his 'donkey' ears if not for the golden touch trick?  Yes.  My head is full of trivia.

I think my ears are just the right size.  They are big enough to hear really, really well which makes me a fair to middlin' watch dog when I feel like it.  And they are just the right size for my whole foot to fit inside when I need to scratch them.  I can then lick the ear wax off my feet, which is very tasty, and I do this a lot.  (Mom said this is gross and not to put it in my post, but you don't care, do you?)

Oh!  Gotta run.  Good bye.

I just heard the refrigerator door open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(stephanie young photography) Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/what-big-ears-you-have-better-to-hear-you-with-my-dear Fri, 05 Jun 2020 13:03:38 GMT
fell down a rabbit hole and look what happened.... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/fell-down-a-rabbit-hole-and-look-what-happened  

“Don't slide down the rabbit hole. The way down is a breeze, but climbing back's a battle.” 
― Kate Morton, The Clockmaker's Daughter

 

_DSC8446_DSC8446

 

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, there was a sweater kit that came with close to a gazillion colors.  It was gorgeous and I dove right in to make it.  Several years after that, when I finally accepted the fact that a) the sweater was going to be too small and b) I would never wear it anyway because I would have to live somewhere where the temperatures dipped--and stayed--in the sub-zero range (and I don't), I piled all the remaining yarn in one of my favorite totes and stashed it where all good stash yarn goes to die  be loved in another project.  Using this yarn immediately in something else obviously wasn't on my radar, because I packed several cedar blocks and 'moth away' bags with it.  (Pat myself on the back for this, anyway!)

This new project was not in the plan for the day.  (heehee...my quarantine-days are planned, right!!) But, I was reading a blog, that took me to instagram, which led me back to Ravelry (where I spent way too long), then remembered a friend's blog I hadn't looked at in a while, (hi, Gale )and wiled away more than a few minutes there...OMG that's a great looking cowl...back to Ravelry, looked at a truckload of projects other people did with the pattern, THIS PATTERN WAS WRITTEN BY KAFFE FASSETT!!!....wonder what he's been up to lately... back to Instagram, oh, right, I forgot to downloaded the ebook---back to Ravelry....

and the rest is history.  I cast on the minute the ebook printed.  (It was a long book to print...I unearthed the yarn, found a needle and my favorite Jenny the Potter stitch marker and LITERALLY cast on the minute the last page flew out of the printer.)

Impulsive?  Not me.

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(stephanie young photography) cowl knitting stash https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/6/fell-down-a-rabbit-hole-and-look-what-happened Wed, 03 Jun 2020 21:19:27 GMT
Process vs Product knitting... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/process-vs-product-knitting Value Study ScarfValue Study Scarf

Life is too short to knit with cheap yarn.

                                                        ---author unknown, but obviously a knitter

 

Purl Soho's Linen Quill, 50% fine highland wool, 35% alpaca, and 15% linen pairs with Sweetgrass, an undyed 65% organic cotton, 35% alpaca.  What could be more yummy?  

The pattern is ultra easy...maybe too easy.  As they say...the third is the charm and this IS my third start.  Didn't like the fabric I was making with the #4 needle the pattern called for; went down to a #3 and it was better, but when I found a mistake, it was easy to rip out 5" and start again with a #1.  Perfect.  

With all that ripping...there was that much more time spend with this scrumptious yarn.

 

Value Study ScarfValue Study Scarf

 

Value Study ShawlValue Study Shawl

I'm about half way through the project now...on the third colour change.  Only two more changes to go, and oh, how I'll miss the rhythm and mindlessness of this gentle pattern.  

Can you tell?  I'm definitely a process knitter. The end product...just the icing on the cake.  

How about you?  Do you enjoy the journey, or do you sprint to the end?

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(stephanie young photography) knitting https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/process-vs-product-knitting Sun, 31 May 2020 16:02:22 GMT
Good things come to those who wait... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/i-am-not-going-out-in-the-rain  

IMG_1851IMG_1851

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
― Maya Angelou

 

 

Hello my friends.  Shira here.  ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung.  You knew that , didn't you?

You can't see her, but my mom is standing outside my back door, in her raincoat, with an umbrella, in a downpour with my raincoat.  And she's calling my name.  I know my name.  I came running.  But I'm not stupid.  Why in the world would I go outside in that mess?  Even if I had my coat on?

I really gave my mom more credit.   She's  soaked.  And she's just standing there, getting wetter by the minute.  Why in the world should I get wet, too?  I hate getting wet.  Hate it, hate it, hate it!! I can handle a drizzle.  I can even handle it if the hose gets me wet by mistake.  But, a thunderstorm?  Well, it's not thundering yet, but it might.  I'm not taking a chance. I'm not going out.  I'm not.  I'm not. Nada.  No way, Jose.  You can't make me.   Call all you want.

Do you think she thinks I might have to go potty?  Forget it.  I can hold it...for hours if I have to.  Maybe even days.  I'll wait.

And, anyway...

some things are worth waiting for.

 

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(stephanie young photography) rainbow Shira https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/i-am-not-going-out-in-the-rain Thu, 28 May 2020 13:04:04 GMT
The magic of knitting... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/the-magic-of-knitting stuffed toysstuffed toys

It's still magic...even if you know how it's done.

--Terry Pratchett

Julie Williams and her little cotton rabbits  are magical.  Patterns that are 15-20 pages long with every conceivable detail meticulously documented.  Clothes..enlarged a bazillion times.. you and I would be happy to wear.  

The knitting is a piece of cake..all knit flat with two needles.  It's the finishing that is the most fiddly I've ever attempted.  My success is spotty.  The fact that I have the attention span of a gnat may have something to do with this.

 

What I've learned knitting these toys.

  • Patience (well, that's still a work in progress)
  • Read ALL the directions, every word (I know what happens if you inadvertently skip a step and it's not good)
  • Follow those directions religiously (I know what happens if you think you can skip a step and it's not good)
  • Admit your toy isn't going to be quite as cute as Julie's, but love them anyway
  • You can make a bunny look very very mean and this isn't a good look
  • Do-overs are OK
  • Wool stuffing is better than polyester fiberfill
  • When she says block a piece...do it.  (see above)  I know what happens when you don't
  • If you think you can make one little animal and stop, think again
  • Two sticks and a string really can create magic
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(stephanie young photography) knitting toys https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/the-magic-of-knitting Sun, 24 May 2020 14:37:04 GMT
Karl Blossfeldt https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/karl-blossfeldt 1-Blossfeldt-cucurbita-450x564-gigapixel-scale-6_00x1-Blossfeldt-cucurbita-450x564-gigapixel-scale-6_00xCREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 82

                                                                           Karl Blossfeldt, pumpkin vines 

 

Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) was schooled as a sculptor, but attained his artistic reputation in the '20s as a photographer.  He had no formal photographic training, but somehow managed to design a series of homemade cameras and fitted them with magnifiers that could enlarge up to 30x.  He believed 'the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure', spoken as a true sculptor...and he used these photographs as a teaching tool for his sculpture students.  It was his firm belief that only through the close study of the patterns and beauty found in nature could contemporary art find its true direction.
 

In1928 he published a book for just this teaching purpose entitled Urformender Kunst (Art Forms in Nature), but it was quickly recognized and praised as an important work of art on its own merits;  his reputation as a photographer was sealed.  

I saw the above photograph while scouring the online Rijksmuseum.  We were supposed to be there last week.  I wonder if I would have seen this had I visited?  It really spoke to me.

  tendril detailtendril detail
I wonder why.

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(stephanie young photography) Karl Blossfeldt photography pumpkin vines https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/karl-blossfeldt Thu, 21 May 2020 15:53:03 GMT
Sharp https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/sharp Native azaleaNative azaleadeciduous azalea; rhododendron nudiflorum pinxter-flower, pink azalea

Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are,

I assume that it isn't a very interesting photograph.

If it were, they would have more to say.

---author unknown

 

There is something about the stark details in a botanical photo..on a black background,

or sometimes a high-key white background...
 

DahliaDahlia

that just speaks to me. The first time I saw the work of Virginia photographer Robert Llewellyn I was mesmerized.  This was long before I knew much about macro photography, and long, long before I knew anything about focus stacking.  In fact, I was searching for something fun to offer my garden club.  I was horticulture chairperson.  Seeing Trees and Seeing Flowers seemed like a great way to explore the outdoors, so I ordered both books.  They never made it to the gardening section of my home library.  These were photography books even though there isn't a single reference to f/stops or ISO.  And it was about that time that I became obsessed with this type of photography.

There are light boxes and there are light boxes...and I learned what I had used years ago to do embossing wouldn't work for photography.  There are light tables, and wouldn't that be fun to own if I had a room to spare?  There are focus rails and focus stacking remote programs and hand held attempts that sometimes aren't too bad.  And what I thought was an okay stacking job using Photoshop, turned out to pale when a high performance program like Helicon was discovered.  

irisiris

Each genre within this rather new-to-me art of photography offers endless opportunities to learn.  There are whole subcultures devoted to macro and close up and micro, flowers--sure, but how about bugs and critters?  Focus stacking is an art unto itself as well.  But within each form is the hope that somehow, someway you are going to see your subject just a bit differently than others.  You are going to capture a personality or a moment in time unlike anything you have seen before. 

That you are going to create something that is more than just a sharp, in-focus image.

I'm a work in progress.

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(stephanie young photography) flower macro photography sharp https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/sharp Mon, 18 May 2020 12:39:05 GMT
Object of art... https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/object-of-art DSC7956botanical lace wrap

A half finished shawl left on the coffee table isn't a mess;

it's an object of art

--Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

 

What you see is Purl Soho's free pattern Botanical Lace Wrap.  The cone is Habu Textiles something-or-other that has been in the stash for much too long.  The pattern calls for 1,463 yards of lace weight yarn.  That cone holds ? yards, so I'm hoping that  3 (cones) X  ? = 1,463 yards.  It's not a difficult pattern, but it's also not for the feint of heart.  You must pay attention with yo's and k2togs and p2tbl on both the right and wrong side rows.  No rest rows here.  No mindless knitting.  

Thus, after about a week of loyally working on this gem, it has now become that 'object of art' referred to above.

 

Somedays you simply NEED mindless.

socks socks sockssocks socks socks I call this 'Mindless on Steroids'.   Can you find the matches?  Can you also see the pair that has already been gifted?  

 

Chatham socksChatham socks

Do you think perhaps it's time to move on from sock knitting? ...just for a while?  The question is...move on to what?  

I certainly wouldn't want to mess with my coffee table art.  

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(stephanie young photography) knitting https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/object-of-art Thu, 14 May 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Famous gardens I've never photographed, part 1 https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/in-a-perfect-world  

TulipTulip It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden

and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional.

---Robert Brault

 

In my perfect world...minus the Covid-quarantine...hubby and I would have been returning from a much anticipated trip to the Netherlands with some college friends and their spouses.  Much anticipated, you see, because the original trip the 6 of us had planned (to Switzerland, not Holland) was to have taken place last October in celebration of 50 years of friendship.  Weeks before departure, the trip was abruptly cancelled by what we thought was a very reputable provider (and we still remain foggy on the exact reason). We were left with semi-packed bags, more reading material and Swiss travel brochures than comfortably would fit in my carry on, and a huge gap in our calendar.  It had taken us months to decide on our destination, months for the excitement to build, and minutes to wipe it all out.

Not to be deterred, we regrouped, changed provider, and happily discovered that spring 2020 would work for us all to travel together again. None of us had experienced the Netherlands during Tulip Time.  I think all 6 of us had different reasons to love this trip...some looked forward to the history, some liked the idea of the biking and outdoor adventure offered on some of the excursions; food played a major role (of course), but for me...I was pretty single focused.  

Keukenhof Gardens.  

79 acres of more than 7 million bulbs...only open 8 weeks of the year, from mid-March to Mid-May.  We were just going to squeak in at the very end this year,  but we were going to get there!!!  And not to worry.  Those 40 gardeners who plant those 7 million bulbs? They plant three bulbs in each spot to ensure continous blooms for the whole 8 weeks.  It would have been spectacular.

Actually it was spectacular.  Take a look  and enjoy this.

I'm now excited about our Holland trip next spring.  Third time is the charm?  We're going a bit earlier, so I'm not worried about the tulips being past their prime.  But we'll be sharing the space with thousands of other visitors.  Andre, the head gardener, won't be giving the tour.  And violinist Rosanne Philippens won't be playing at sunrise.

Enjoy the virtual tour.  The garden the way no one ever, ever sees it!  A little silver lining.

 

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Several people have asked how to follow this blog.  First of all, thank you for your optimism that there might be something here you'd like to read!  I'm SURE there is an easier way, but the only way I know how to follow blogs is through Bloglovin.com.  It's a free subscription service that alerts you when your selected blogs post.  After joining Bloglovin, simply search for stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com and choose it.  I tried it...I'm there!  Now the challenge will be to get back in the blogging routine.  I do like to ramble on the blog...my virtual friends are the added bonus.  Thanks for your support!

 

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(stephanie young photography) blog garden Keukenhof Gardens Netherlands photography travel tulips https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/in-a-perfect-world Tue, 12 May 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Blame it on Covid-19... and Welcome! https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/blame-it-on-covid-19-and-welcome  What was I thinking?  Another blog?  

Well, this one is apparently a bit different than Woolythyme.  First of all, it is attached to my photography website (oh, Lordy...THAT is going to be work in progress for the next few quarantined months!) which makes it inherently more a photography blog than a knitting blog.  But, then, poor old Woolythyme struggled with being a knitting blog and morphed into a platform for FreddyDogYoung and then ShiraPrincessoftheWorldDogYoung; it had its moments as a travel blog,too.  So if you have any illusions that this will be a fountain of photographic wisdom and illusionary gems, I'm afraid you will be very disappointed.

How bored do you have to be to tackle this?  That's not quite fair.  I haven't been particularly bored.  It's spring.  I have a camera.  I have webinars and youtube videos for rainy days.  But I've missed the rambling opportunities that a blog provides.  I missed the frustrations challenges of this new-to-me technology (those of you who know me, know that a cellphone is technology I have yet to master), and I've missed the virtual contacts and friends that were an unexpected but added bonus.

So, welcome to my new space...to my new adventure...to my new normal.

 

Dogwood #1Dogwood #1 WHOA!!!  That picture is BIG !  Guess what today's project is?

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(stephanie young photography) blog dogwood photography https://stephanieyoung.zenfolio.com/blog/2020/5/blame-it-on-covid-19-and-welcome Sat, 09 May 2020 13:45:51 GMT