Friday, February 16, 2018

February flowers

Hello! It's Friday night and I'm relaxing in front of the TV with the Bear. We had a good day today. It was Private Friday and we opted to stay home most of the morning, before going to the library and lunch. He had work to do this morning and I was happy to sit on the couch and read. The weather wasn't very nice - we had our best storm of the winter from Wednesday to Thursday, with lingering cold and dampness today - and it was good to stay inside and relax. At the library, I picked up my hold book, a new biography of my girl Stevie Nicks. Then we went to a bakery/sandwich shop and ate paninis. We picked up the small Bears at school and came home for more relaxation. I made fish and chips (frozen Gorton's fillets and french fries). The children recently went to bed and now we're watching This Old House. Soon, I'll make our customary Friday night stove popcorn, and we'll be watching The Grand Tour - not my favorite, but I do like to support other people's interests from time to time.

Thank you for the nice things you said about my budding Elise Shawl. I'm still plugging away. I'm only just starting to find it a bit easier lately, but it's still slow going. That's okay, I'm not in any hurry. Making it has inspired me to try crocheting other garments for myself eventually. I'd like to make some shrug-type sweaters to wear with dresses and sleeveless tops. I have a few patterns in mind, but I'm not really sure where to begin with yarn. I'd like to use something nicer than my usual budget-priced acrylic yarns, which I love for blankets, and preferably a natural fiber. But my budget isn't going to grow much, so I have to really look. If you have a suggestion for a nice, affordable yarn I might try, please share. I'm very open to ideas.

Speaking of low-priced yarn, I did buy some Vanna's Choice worsted acrylic this week, to add to my blanket stash. I realized that even though I'm on a stash-busting mission, I was missing a few colors that I needed to tie the others together. I like Vanna's Choice well enough. I prefer I Love This Yarn, but last time I went to Hobby Lobby, their stock was very low in the kinds of colors I like. I didn't want to keep running back there, and I have trouble justifying an online order when HL is, like, five minutes from my house, so I bought the Vanna's instead. Whatever it takes to get this stash down, right? I knew you'd agree.

Have you been watching the Olympics? We try to watch a little every night. I greatly prefer the winter games over the summer ones. I've been watching figure-skating, as I always do, and thinking about the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding scandal of 1994. I was a teenager, watching every night with my whole family around a small TV set. I remember being pretty defensive of Tonya, which kind of appalls me now, but I thought she was cool, I guess. It was all we talked about - me, my sisters, our friends. We ate it up; we had a horrendous winter (in New York, where I grew up) that year, with something like 23 school days cancelled for snow. We needed something to do. Everyone took a side. At the time, my favorite TV show was COPS; I think I've always been attracted to people acting their worst. The Nancy-Tonya scandal combined such exciting elements - violence, glittery costumes, sneering women, fabulous athleticism - it was better than COPS, even. I haven't seen the new movie about Tonya, but I did watch the ESPN documentary a few years ago. I hope they're both doing okay now. I feel a little badly for contributing to the drama by being such an avid consumer back then, but it was the thing to do in that long, miserable winter. I'm glad to see better sportsmanship this time; adult-me prefers kindness and friendly competition over the cutthroat ugliness cheered on by kid-me.

I think winter has finally come to my neck of the woods, after months of warm, dry weather. This week's storm brought about three-quarters of an inch of rain to my backyard, with snow at higher elevation up the mountain. I've enjoyed having cold, damp weather for a change. There may be more coming in the early part of next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Meanwhile, spring is starting to happen outside too; there are tiny green shoots coming up in my backyard planter beds, and the winter jasmine is in full, golden bloom in the front yard. We cleared out the backyard beds and pruned everything in the front yard over the past few weekends, so we should be ready for the new spring growth.

This week, I was given a beautiful vase of yellow tulips for Valentine's Day. They're the kind that have the bulb attached at the bottom of the vase, in a couple of inches of water. I'm so excited about these tulips. You're supposed to be able to plant the bulbs for future blooms. I've had terrible luck with bulbs here (squirrels dig them up and eat most of them), but I'm willing to try again. I love tulips so much. I do have one small yellow one that comes up every year in the backyard bed. I can see it from the kitchen sliding doors, tiny and bright.

This weekend, we'll be taking it easy at home, puttering and hanging out. We've had a few sniffles and we're tired from a hard few weeks of endless school projects and work commitments. We won't really have a break from school until the end of March, unfortunately, but I know we're all counting down. In the meantime, we're relaxing as we can and enjoying the stay-home weather we're getting at the moment. I'm going to finish my little red coffeepot cross-stitching and start the teapot. I have plenty of crochet and lots of new library books. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Your cross-stitch is so neat and pretty. I'm currently trying to finish up blankets that have been started over the past year. A simple granny square so that I don't have to think much, trying to use up yarn stash, but like you have had to purchase some extra in order to finish what I've started. We've had a rather mild winter here and it's already warming up. A friend in NM has posted pictures of snow in Santa Fe last week, but my Colorado boy has barely seen any this season which he is pretty bummed about. Enjoy a peaceful weekend.

  2. I have been enjoying watching the olympics too. The snowboarding has been my favourite to watch oh and slalem downhill skiing. Very exciting to watch. Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Sniffles here as well as we reach the end of a week off of school. One cold a month at the moment for the littlest boy it seems. The children watched a bit of the snowboarding and that thing where you shoot down an ice chute on a tray at about 100mph, they were very keen on that. It sounds as though you had a really lovely Friday, calm and relaxing. I'm planning a relaxing afternoon here today, a bit of dog walking and taking the littlest boy to the library and the stationery shop, then home to the warm, new book, nice tea etc. In fact I might do fish and chips now that you've mentioned it. I hope you have a lovely weekend. Stay at home weather is very good is it not? CJ xx

  4. You evening sounds lovely and I love the cross stitch! I have watched some of the olympics but not as much as I usually do. By the evening I am so bushed that I just sort of conk out. Looking forward to hearing more about your bulbs. I haven't planted anything of that nature in so long -- might have to revisit it. Thanks for a lovely blog post.

  5. A night at home is always welcome. When I get a little stronger I want to crochet again.

  6. We are taking it easy this weekend too. Budget wise Drops yarn is super value. I don't know if you can get it but their cotton is really nice for summer shrugs. I use drops nepal for my winter knits. The yardage isn't massive but the price works out well in the end. Jo xx

  7. It was such a joy to see the bulbs of the tulips in the glass vase, it brought back some lovely memories of growing a wide variety of flowers like that when my girls were young for a school project.

  8. Hello!
    I enjoyed visiting with you here.
    Your day and evening sounds so cozy!
    We are doing much the same here in cold and dreary Pennsylvania...
    Snuggling in and watching the Olympics.
    I too remember the Nancy and Tonya skating drama...
    We were newly married and my husband and I watched the entire thing!
    I cannot believe it has been that long...
    We are enjoying the skating so much.
    I hope you have a cozy evening and weekend!

  9. I love to watch the show This Old House, too. Your tulips are gorgeous and I love that you have the bulbs to plant and enjoy again next spring! Enjoy your weekend! It's sounds nice and relaxing to me.

  10. Lovely photos, thank you for sharing. Hoping you all enjoy good health and feel rested at the weekends. I enjoy visiting your blog, take care. Cathy x

  11. Yay, mountain sighting, and with snow!! It all sounds so lovely and cosy at your place, and even the bright coffee pot gets in the mood. Yellow tulips are the prettiest, and I'm glad one of yours keeps popping up despite the squirrels. I planted one once here in the tropics, but alas, and predictably, it never showed its little face again. Happy weekend Jennifer.

  12. Tulips are my favorite flowers, not only because they are pretty, but they say Spring to me. We have a terrible time with moles and squirrels eating the bulbs too.

  13. Hi Jennifer!
    I like Vanna yarn! The colors are happy.
    February IS snoozy, isn't it?
    I ADORE that cross stitch! So cute!
    Have a happy week!

  14. It's still stay-in weather here in northern IL. Cold and snow and now today and tomorrow, lots of rain. That coupled with the melting snow will result in flooding. I always say that my most disliked months here are Feb and March. Dare I say, ugly and depressing. Flowers do cheer up these dull days and since there's none outside, I've been relying on store-bought flowers, too. I bought a bouquet of closed daffodils at Trader Joe's a few days ago (only $1.49!) and now they're opening. They're so pretty and cheerful.

  15. Hey Jennifer,
    I do love the sound of your stay at home Fridays. Marc and I see so little of each other, what with him working away during the week. And it seems that our weekends have lately been taken up with work (me) and diy (him). I'm thinking of asking my Mum to baby sit next month, so that we can go out for a dinner date. We're one of those couples that can chunter on to each other forever. But it would be nice to have an adult only evening. Spring is just around the corner here. My favourite magnolia tree is about to burst forth her blooms. That's a sure sign of Spring for me.

    Leanne xx

  16. I so love tulips too. we do a whole stay at home fridays always. I try to make it a homemade cooked "take-out" meal night too for the kids. Fast food out and about with 4 children aged between 21 and 1 years old breaks the bank every time. So, a little homemade fish n chippy goes a long way and they get to have a little more cause its done at home. I hope you had a lovely weekend. As per normal there wasnt much internet time. I think the tower was down again. So, I am only getting to catch up with everyone now (between homeschooling lessons of course). Blessings for the week that is xxx hugs from us all in S Africa.


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