Category Archives: Leisure & Travel

Smelling the Roses

With some TLC, the little plot of roses went from bedraggled to bountiful

Taking Time to Smell the Roses
Taking Time to Smell the Roses

Figuratively speaking, this blog is dedicated to “Taking Time to Smell the Roses”. Thanks to John, I now have actual roses to continually remind me of my goal in finding balance in life and rediscovering the simple things in life.

These roses were originally planted by the former owner of the house that John recently moved into. After being neglected for several months in the gap between home owners, the roses were struggling. In a few short weeks and some TLC, the little plot of roses went from bedraggled to beautiful buds and blooms. All because of John’s “green thumb” and seemingly natural ability to coax the roses on a quick journey to health again, we are enjoying their varied colors and smells.

I wish I had thought to take photos before the early cold front struck CO last week. Most photos were unusable because the wind was blowing so hard! But here are a few to remind me and you of the mild days of fall before winter really sets in.

National Bison Range

The National Bison Range is a wildlife refuge in northwest Montana. It is home to a sight-worthy herd of buffalo, as well as other fauna and flora. Here are some of the photos from a trip a while back. I hope you enjoy the slide show.

It was especially fun to see the calves. We really hit our visit to the National Bison Range at a good time.

It is sometimes difficult to imagine that these mighty bison are the source of such delicate buffalo down fiber. I am sure you have noticed in my knitting that I often take opportunities to use bison/buffalo down yarn. My favorites are Ethereal Fichu, Pillared Archways, Beaded Lux, Dragonfly Dreams, Buffalo Beaded Socks and Cowl Dickey.

Have you knitted, crocheted, woven with buffalo yarn? Or perhaps even spun your own yarn from bison down? I’d love to hear about it.


St. Louis Cathedral

The St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square in the New Orleans French Quarter is probably the most iconic symbol of New Orleans. I came across some slide photos I had taken many years ago (waaaay before digital came along).

Looking across Jackson Square toward the St. Louis Cathedral
Looking across Jackson Square toward the St. Louis Cathedral

So I’ve been playing around with transferring some of the better slides to digital format. I am using the slide tray on my scanner. It is a bit tedious, but doable. I especially love this view of the Cathedral looking across the Jackson Square park.

Fascinating designs on ironwork gates
Fascinating designs on ironwork gates

The intricate designs on old New Orleans ironwork such as these have always fascinated me.

If you are visiting New Orleans, I highly recommend drinking in the beauty of sites like this.

These shoes are made for walking

Do you remember the song “These Boots Are Made for Walking?” recorded by Nancy Sinatra years ago? That song keeps running through my mind as I admire my new Merrell shoes that I just got this past week. The style is called Moab Ventilator. Cool shoes. They’ll be put to good use later this month as I plan to do a lot of walking around San Francisco to see the sights. I also got a pair of the Loreili style, which looks like a cute Mary Jane shoe — I plan to wear those for non-intensive activites and casual dress-up.

My new Merrell Moab Ventilator shoes

Which reminds me … I need to post a notice on my HeartStrings FiberArts website that we’ll be closed for wholesale shipments April 16 – 27. Fortunately, I have several distributors that are available to get pattern orders out to  shops. Also, all the downloadable pattern sites will continue to be available. But if you try to contact me personally, be prepared for a delay, because I’ll be walkin’ and playin’!

p.s. If you are in the San Francisco area and want to maybe meet up sometime while I am there, let me know. My traveling companion has a full schedule laid out for us (and he isn’t a knitter), but maybe we can at least visit a little while. We’ll be staying at the Chateau Tivoli.

Magnificent photos of a magnificent New Orleans landmark

I first met today’s featured blog guest, Sai Chandrasekharan, at my local Apple Store (located in Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans). I’ve been taking advantage of One-on-One Personal Training Sessions available through Apple Stores, and Sai was my instructor that day. At the end of the top-notch session, we traded business cards and Sai mentioned he was a photographer. A few days later, I checked out his Flickr site, and discovered amazing photos he has taken of the Mississippi River bridge in New Orleans. With his kind permission, here is a peek at just a few of my favorites with the bridge against the backdrop of nature during sunrise, thunderstorm and moonrise.

Fiery Sky by Sai Chandrasekharan
Fiery Sky
Mississippi River Bridge - 2 by Sai Chandrasekharan
Mississippi River Bridge - 2
Moon Rising by Sai Chandrasekharan
Moon Rising

I hope these will peak your interest in seeing the full-size photos of these and many others he has done. You can view Sai’s entire gallery at I think you will enjoy his commentary there, too.

As background, the Crescent City Connection, (formerly called Greater New Orleans Bridge before its upgrade from one span to two spans) refers to twin cantilever bridges farthest downstream on the Mississippi River. These twin bridges run between the Central Business District of New Orleans and the Westbank (named for its location on the western bank of the river, even though geographically it actually is southeast of New Orleans!). Due to the Mississippi River’s winding course through the New Orleans area (the river is flowing north at the place where the two bridges cross), the eastbound span actually carries traffic on Business US 90 West, while the westbound span carries traffic East. Not only that, but the river is actually flowing north where the bridges cross.

p.s. Now you know why true New Orleanians do not refer to east, west, north, south. It is always just toward the river, away from the river, etc. lol.