Wednesday, April 15, 2015

tending my yarn garden...






I don't know about you, but when I'm not feeling well, I tend to get a lot of reading in. Knitting? Not so much...requires too much concentration, don't you know. :) Anyway, during my extended season of being under the weather, I finished four books altogether.   A Memory of Violets was a wonderful read that I loved in every way, even how it came to an end. The Nightingale was a page turner; in fact, over the course of two insomnia-dominated nights, I finished the book. Over the past couple of years, I've found myself drawn to stories about WWII and how the women survived, attempting to maintain any sense of normalcy in the midst of chaos. We have it easy. Too easy? I don't know. Other reading included books 3 and 4 of the Mitford series by Jan Karon -- a nice departure from The Nightingale. I'm currently half way through Mitford #5 and am re-reading The Help.

It's been a while since I shared any knitting, in fact, it was March 11, to be exact. The beautiful project I was hard at work on that day was a baptismal gown for Linnea Darlene, our adorable second grandbaby. :)  I've written down all my notes and am working on the next size up since I've had requests for the pattern. :)  It was a labor of love that I'm proud of and look forward to sharing. Another secret project which I started back in February is also complete (rose-colored scarf above). And finally, a project (the blue...) that has been worked and reworked until I was almost sick of it but now that it's finished and I love it!! I'll be getting together with my Jessica later this week, Lord willing, for a proper photo shoot, so stay tuned!

I still have a few projects in progress (a headband for Charlotte, a cardigan for a friend's baby, a bonnet for Linnea, and two projects that will remain secret for now). I'm looking forward to wrapping these projects up so I can cast on something new. Nothing like a clean slate!

Ravelry notes here. Joining Ginny :)

~Lisa

Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

PS: Some of my links are associate links. If you click and make a purchase, I will receive a couple pennies for providing the link. Thanks for your support!

Monday, April 13, 2015

when a month flies by...


When a month flies by and it's been filled with life, joy, and celebration, filled with all kinds of satisfying work, filled with travel, knitting, and a stack of good books, the update post could go on and on.

 But when it's been overshadowed by being sick for the past several weeks, I'm thinking it's likely best to just say, "Hello."  Nothing serious; I'm fine, really. Just a bad cold that turned into a nasty sinus infection that turned into a horrendous allergic reaction to an antibiotic. But like I said, I'm fine. Was it fun? Nope. Am I thankful? Absolutely. :)

Joy is a habit: wear it.

Yep, that's my Charlotte gathering eggs on the lawn on Easter. :)

See you back here later this week...looking forward to catching up!

~Lisa

Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

rainy days, cotyledons, and creativity...











A little rain finally found its way to our corner of the country. I wasn't surprised to learn that this winter has been the second driest/warmest here in the Pacific NW since the 1930s. There is literally zero snow in the Cascades below about 4500' which will make for low streams and rivers come this summer. Guess it's time to install a few rain barrels...  I just love that first picture as it so represents the feeling of the view from my front porch on a cloudy, rainy day. Peace. Calm. Quiet. I love it.

The kids have been diligent in their preparations for next month's recitals. They work so hard and never cease to amaze me, as I have virtually no musical talent. What a gift to hear them play...I will miss it when they are grown. Sigh.

Lettuces have sprouted! The lilac I thought was dead is showing signs that it, in fact, is not! A spider shared her creativity with us by leaving her web on the front porch! And I have spent every spare moment working on Linnea's Swan. :)

More rain is forecast for this weekend, in fact, over an inch which is so needed. After that, the weatherlady is calling for more unseasonably warm, sunny days next week. Crazy!

Happy weekending,

~Lisa

Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

tending my yarn garden...




Another secret project and a new book! I don't often buy new books, but while browsing the book tables at Costco, I discovered A Memory of Violets and couldn't leave the store without it. Violets are in bloom right now, you know. :)
In 1912, twenty-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s flower girls—orphaned and crippled children living on the grimy streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive. 
Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie—a young Irish flower girl who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart. (from the back cover of the book)
Sounds so good! The blue book, Under Fire, is about the terrorist attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. I heard about this title during a radio interview a few weeks ago and have more skimmed than read it. Technical but definitely interesting and enlightening.

All my knitting projects have taken a back seat to the secret project (yes, another one) in the photo above...a little something for Linnea. :)  I just love knitting for my granddaughters!

What have you been reading and knitting this week?

Joining Ginny :)

~Lisa

Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

PS: Some of my links are associate links. If you click and make a purchase, I will receive a couple pennies for providing the link. Thanks for your support! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

oh, deer -- homestead projects update







Tending to the many projects on our list is a slow process, but we are making progress bit by bit. Spring has definitely arrived early to the Pacific northwest -- a blessing we are taking full advantage of. Seeds have sprouted which means we'll be enjoying freshly picked salads in not too many weeks. I can barely wait! Three robins danced across our lawn this morning, but I could only capture a good picture of one of them...too fun to watch them in real time rather than through the camera's lens. :)

I was discouraged to find the blue bells AnnaLynn and I had so carefully transplanted pulled out and left to dry out amidst a multitude of hoofprints -- evidence that the local deer have discovered our new bed. ARGH!! Muddy hoofprints were even left right on my front porch. I've redug the holes and replanted these spring favorites of mine, but I have little hope that they'll survive. :(  Anna says we just need to get a dog and that'll keep the deer away. Maybe it's time to start building a kennel...

I'm sharing a before and after of the northwest corner of the house. We did dig out one shrub which is now enjoying a sunny spot in the bed off the front porch. The huge one that remains is a boxwood, if you can believe it, another transplant from my grandma's house in Pittsburgh. It needs a serious pruning and to be transplanted. This spot behind the house has been designated for a grilling station for Dan, so no plants will be here when that project gets underway. The bed on the side of the house was cleared of weeds and awaits further work (a rock border to match the front bed as well as fresh soil and then some shrubbery and ferns). It's a start, right? The bottom picture is the front of our well house/shed which awaits a similar treatment.

We're expecting a little rain this week which is much needed. The flip side of all this beautiful weather we've been enjoying is that it's quite dry. I just can't imagine having to turn the garden sprinklers on this early.

Until next time,

~Lisa

Thanks for visiting Happy in Dole Valley! To join us on our journey, look to the upper right to follow or subscribe. :)

PS: Some of my links are associate links. If you click and make a purchase, I will receive a couple pennies for providing the link. Thanks for your support! :)

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