Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Sorry I've been absent.

My lip hurts.  
Here's the good news: 
It is just a cold sore, 
and it's finally healing.

Here's the bad news: 
There is a NEW one growing just beside the old one.
And it hurts like H-E-Double Hockey Sticks.

Must be the stress of relocating.

Or not winning the lottery.
Or sympathy stress for my friend who has had triplets.
Or sympathy stress for my friend who is going back to work full-time.
Or a terrible curse.

Even so, I ventured out last night
to my first drawing class.
(for grown-ups).

Here's my first drawing:

It's a little crock.
And it's my first one.

Here's my second one:

Already an improvement.
Starbucks cup
listing to the right.

And my third of the evening:

I think it's a BIG improvement,
It's a jar of paint.

So, now I'm off, to put my best lip forward.
It's really not my best lip, but it's huge and can't help but go first.
I need to clean up this house 
and make a rocking' dinner.

Mr.s cousin is coming to dinner
and I want to impress him with my mad wifely skills.
'Cuz I'm shallow like that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Best

Prepare yourself.
This is me.
First thing in the morning.

In fact,
I'm still wearing my retainers,

though you can't see them in the pictures.

This is what I look like this morning.

Giant swollen lips don't always look 
like Angelina Jolie.

I FEEL like Binky.

My bottom lip sticks out 
so far.

I'm going to get some ice now.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Things I learned...

I may have mentioned complained
that this house is DARK.
Like a cave.
So, we don't need a man-cave,
the house is like that.

A photo of the house as a refresher for y'all:

1. I wish I was clever and knew how to add text to my photos
so I could point out which windows go where.
But I'm not.

So, the lovely large window in the front is to the dining room
where I also have my desk 
(I am sitting there now).
It gets some nice light.

The room above is the nicest bedroom in the house.
It belongs to Sister Too.
Not sure how she got the room with the most light
and TWO closets,
but I guess that is what I get
when I leave Mr. in charge and galavant to Bay View for the move.

The microscopic dormer window, 
that's my bedroom.
There is a matching on the side of the house out of view.
It is DARK in that room.
Even if the windows are open.
Even if the lights are on.
It is the drawback of this house.

So, while at my new nook club,
filled with the smartest ladies in all of Pittsbrugh,
I inquired about Pittsburgh's fear of windows.

The bright ladies asked when my house was built (1941),
and began to give me a history of a steel town
in the 1940's 
with not so clean air, 
thus, windows were not so desirable then.

Actually, it isn't super great now.
But I desire me some windows.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


 The dining room of the new house
has NO light fixture.

The previous owners were in love with their fixtures.

That's fine.
I didn't care much for them.

I was out the other day and I spied 
this beauty:

I brought it home,
and the whole family protested.
They thought it looked like a bird cage.

They wanted something heavy and crystal.
But, we don't live that kind of stuffy life.

And, our furniture is rather traditional,
so, to mix it up,
like they do in France by showing
I suggested something less formal.

Two more trips to the lighting store,
and one Chick-fil-A peach shake bribe,
and THIS beauty came home.

You can see we like her better,
because she was actually installed.

And the good Lord said 
"Let there be light".

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Knitter's Home Companion

I have been learning life lessons.
Through knitting.

I have learned that the time invested to knit something lovely
should not be wasted with poor quality yarn.
No one wants to wear it.

I have also learned to 
 knit in a new way.
I knit 

As I stitch, I say a prayer for the receiver of the knitting.
My hope is that my knitted gifts will feel like a hug,
a reminder of my love for that person,
a tangible blessing.

Knitting connects us to others
and to ourselves.

This book enhances those lessons.

I got it from my library, 
the only building in Pittsburgh not afraid of windows
and light.
The New York Times is delivered there.
Every. Single. Day.

I should buy this book.
You should buy this book.

It is full of recipes, sketches, patterns, book recommendations, and essays.

It is easy to pick this book up
and hard to put down.

You'll want to go back to it again and again.

I love this quote:

"I have knit in the company of those whose names I'll never forget,
those who are knit and purled forever into my heart."

and this one from Elizabeth Zimmerman:

"Knitting is formed by a series of loops pulled through loops
to the end of time
or to 'desired length'."

The author Michelle Edwards discusses how knitting 
connects her to her family, 
especially to those generations who have gone before her.

My grandmother died when I was 10,
with no lessons,
and no desire to knit,
her needles were given to me.

It took 15 years for me to find the grace
to accept the gift
and the challenge to carry on the tradition.

 I love knitting with her needles today.
My hands rest and work
where hers once did.

I think of her as I knit.
It is the best way to celebrate her life.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pittsburgh charm

These houses crack me up.
The only way you know where one starts and the other stops
is the abrupt paint job.

It's like Victor/Victoria.

I love this graphic sign 
advertising homemade pie.

Sisters tired of sight seeing
even though they had just had lunch and video games
at a cool place where the walls open to the sidewalk.

Fountain in the walled garde
at Mellon Park.

We're definitely going back there!

A sign from Cincinnati

A pile of rubble, 
and a beautiful mural.

I love the hope around every corner.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Tramping around the brick townhouses,
suddenly we saw a colorful...
which drew us nearer.

Randyland is comprised of three buildings.

There is no absence of color.

Plenty of whimsy.


Creativity flows generously here.

We met Randy, of Randyland.
He has a vision that someday this will be a sandwich shop.

It's something to see, 
totally unique,
totally Pittsburgh.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mexican War Streets House Tour, part 2

Wanna see some lovely window boxes?

I am amazed at how determined these urban gardeners are.

They even grew basil in thin ribbons of soil.

Some houses have alleys behind them.

Some are set deeper into the lot, 
leaving some garden space in front.

A charming street to ambulate.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mexican War Streets House Tour

So, when I heard about this area,
I was very curious.
However, the name is a bit of-putting.
I thought it was a crime-ridden drug bonanza.

History lesson:

In 1848 the neighborhood was laid out by William Robinson following the Mexican-American War. 

Robinson named the streets after Mexican-American War battles and generals.

I was WRONG (thankfully).
Brick townhouses and beautiful architecture abound,
and I wanted to see it.

The doors:

REAL gas lanterns.
I watched them flicker and wondered
about the cost of burning them.

The facades were full of charm.

I LOVED the mansard roofs here.

Mansard roofs were invented in France.
In 1783 there was a law forbidding buildings to be taller than 20 meters.
Te measurement went only to the cornice board,
making all floors contained in a mansard roof exempt.
Those clever French!

Tomorrow I'll show the lovely window boxes.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Mr. needed a chauffeur in the middle of the day.

So, I get a quick trip to downtown Pittsburgh.

It was a little gloomy.

 A flat iron building in Pittsburgh!

Colorful murals, just like Cincinnati.

Of course, I got lost.
I circled downtown in larger and larger circles for 20 minutes.

Ironically, Mr. called to see if I made it home okay.
And I was still lost.

I finally found the highway that would take me home.
I think a GPS is in my future...